ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Umbilical Cord Prolapse - A Complication In Childbirth

Updated on July 13, 2010

Umbilical cord prolapse is a complication in childbirth that occurs during late pregnancy or during labor and delivery. The umbilical cord descends alongside prematurely compromising the life of the fetus. In simple words, umbilical cord prolapse is a rare complication, which occurs when the umbilical cord has already broken and the baby prepares for birth. It has been estimated that this pregnancy complication occurs in one in every 300 women at the time of labor and delivery.

Umbilical cord prolapse is a situation of great danger for the baby because the umbilical cord is the channel through which oxygen and blood is supplied via the mother’s body to the body of the unborn child and its prolapse can stop or reduce this supply. In this case, delivery must occur quickly since the lack of oxygen and blood can cause brain damage to the baby threatening baby’s life.

Understanding umbilical cord prolapse
Understanding umbilical cord prolapse

Usually, the gynecologist performs a caesarean section to help the baby to be born as quickly as possible without undergoing any damage. The most frequent cause of umbilical cord prolapse is early rupture of amniotic sac, but this condition can also occur in premature birth, in which the baby is in breech position or multiple births where the second baby becomes a larger risk.

Other problems that may be involved with this type of situation may include but not be limited to premature rupture of membranes caused by excessive amount of amniotic fluid. Sometimes when the umbilical cord becomes abnormally long, the cord is broken intentionally when it becomes necessary to induce or speed up labor. In these cases, a pelvic exam is performed to check the location of the cord into the vaginal canal. Also, continuous fetal heart rate monitoring is performed.

Also the gynecologist can ask the mother to put herself in a body position to remove excess pressure on the cord and protect the baby while preparing for cesarean delivery or immediate delivery. This depends from person to person and according to the severity of situation.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse Complication During Pregnancy - Some Important Points To Remember

  1. A prolapsed cord is considered to be an imminent danger for the baby.
  2. The baby may have to be delivered via C-section in order to prevent further damage and save his/her life.
  3. Prolapsed umbilical cord can be detected while doing pelvic examination of a pregnant women or fetal heart rate monitoring.
  4. The growing fetus is attached to placenta, which provides food and oxygen for the fetus. The umbilical cord connects the growing fetus to the placenta.
  5. Umbilical cord prolapse during pregnancy can be a complication of breech birth. The growing baby is in danger of suffocation from lack of oxygen, which can cause brain damage.
  6. While doing pelvic examination, the prolapsed cord can be felt in the vagina.
  7. Before the surgeon performs C-section, the patient is placed in knee chest position to prevent further prolapse.
  8. It may also become necessary to have the pregnant women bend over on her knees to prevent pressure on the umbilical cord.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      thank you 

      6 years ago

      I was interested to know about it from a long time. Thank you for the information. I didn't even knw what it was called though I had the same thing when I was born. Doc say it was a fatal emergancy they even signed papers with my father that they won't be able to save both mother and baby. Though luckily both were saved...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)