14 responses to “Cords Knots and Twists”

  1. sheelnagig

    Hooray! Common sense!

  2. Andrea Bilcliff

    Hi Lisa,

    I wonder what the incidence of two true knots in the cord is? Was at a birth where the cord was really long and there was one knot close to the placenta and the other close to the baby.


  3. sheelnagig

    Oh and you've doubled up on a lot of text you might want to remove. ;-) You can delete this comment too. *lol*

  4. Lisa Barrett

    Thanks Sheelnagig.

    Andrea the incidence is 1 in 80 births. 1.4%

  5. Hellena Post

    So does this mean that I could have birthed Mr B at home?? Or was my case different??

  6. maria

    Thanks for this, Lisa!
    Is there a direct link to the article by Misha Safranski?
    I thought maybe it was the 'publish post' but it is not working for me.

  7. Anonymous

    Is the rate for two knots in the one cord the same as for one knot? I would have thought it less common. Either way, it was an interesting but incidental finding – they had no bearing on the birth or baby :-)

  8. Janelle Wahlman

    As a certified nurse-midwife, I've seen a fair number of true knots of the cord. Only one has occured in a fetal demise, at 22 weeks of age. I made the mistake of assuming that the knot was the cause of death.

    The mother returned to me a few months later, pregnant again with her second baby. This time, she made it to 32 weeks, and then I discovered, at a routine prenatal visit, that her baby was having a drop in her heart rate. After diagnostic tests confirmed the baby was in trouble, an emergency c-section was done. We sent the placenta for an examination by a pathologist, as we had no idea what had caused this baby's distress.

    It turned out the mother had a rare syndrome which the obstetrician who did the surgery had not even heard of. The syndrome is a frequent cause of fetal demise in the second and third trimesters. It was the likely cause of death for the first baby, rather than the knot in the cord.

    To schedule someone for a c-section because a knot in the cord is identified is ridiculous. Monitoring of the baby's heart rate would easily enable the midwife or physician to make sure the knot wasn't causing any problems for the baby.

  9. Jill--Unnecesarean

    How cool to see pictures of the knots!

  10. Anonymous

    I had a c-section because during the early stages of labour my childs heart rate dropped as low as 68 beats a minutes with each contraction and got slower and slower at going back up to a regular heart beat between contractions. This was a result of the cord being around her neck and compression with each contraction. If the doctors did not intervene and perform a c-section I am certain I would not have a healthy girl today!

  11. Laura

    I have five children. The youngest three all had true knots in the cord. It has been assumed that this is due to long cords, but I was wondering if this could be genetic in any way. I was told after the first that it would be next to impossible for it to happen again. And then after the second, I was strongly reassured that there would be no way that it could happen. What will happen when I have number six?

  12. Lily

    I am a student midwife and recently I cared for a couple who were to be induced at 37 weeks (ish) as they had previously had a baby die in utero at 38 weeks due to a very tight true knot. They were a beautiful couple and understandably nervous. They were reassured over and over again throughout their pregnancy that the chances of the same accident occurring again was virtually nil. In the end they weren’t induced that day because the baby’s head had come up and out of the pelvis and there was no reason to induce other than to get the event out of the way, they understood it was wrong to risk the induction and went home, devastated but understanding.

    When I was back at prac the next week I found out that the couple had indeed given birth to a healthy baby a few days later, with, you guessed it…another true knot!!!

    So lightning can strike twice, luckily with a different outcome the second time round.

  13. Dottie

    My second child had a knot in his cord. We didn’t find out about it until he was born via emergency c-section for loss of heartbeat. His heart rate had been flucuating with contractions, but always returned to normal afterwards and all the sudden it just started dropping rapidly and then it was gone. He was born 4 mins later, totally blue(I was given general anesthesia) and he didn’t have a heartbeat and had to be given CPR. Luckily after about 2 minutes, they were able to get his heart going again and got him breathing on his own. My OB told me when I woke up that the cord had a very tight knot in it and she even saved the umblical cord to show me in recovery. I wish I’d taken a picture of it. I am glad he was born safely and feel lucky that he is alive today and a thriving four year old. However, my OB said this is very rare and she has delivered babies with knots in their cords vaginally with no problems and it just seems to depend on the baby, how long the umblical cord is, and how tight the knot is. Had she seen a knot on ultrasound, she said she would not automatically consider doing a c-section, she’s still want the mom to attempt a vaginal birth.

  14. Keren P

    I was born with two true knots in my umbilical cord. I was induced 2 weeks early because they didn’t know why my heart rate was so erratic. It was 1973 – they did an ultrasound but it was mostly static. It was the first time the OB had seen 2 knots in the one cord. I think it’s pretty rare!