Cord Around the Neck – Is Normal Delivery Possible?

When Divya Singh went for an ultrasound in her 37th week, she was told that she should have an elective cesarean section because her baby had a double loop of cord around neck. She couldn’t help wondering ‘Is normal delivery possible with cord around the neck?’.

Divya had been preparing for a normal delivery since she discovered she was pregnant. She was exercising, eating healthy and attending antenatal classes.

Read: Cord around the Neck in Hindi (गर्दन पर लिपटी हुई नाल – क्या शिशु के स्वास्थ्य के लिए घातक है ?

Everything was going smoothly for her until now.  Still keen to try for a normal delivery, Divya and her husband came to Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi for a second opinion. Anxious, she put forth all her questions to Dr. Anita Sabherwal Anand, Senior Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in South Delhi.

What happens if the cord is around the baby’s neck?

About 1 in 3 babies are born with a cord around neck without any adverse outcome.

Still, many expectant parents imagine that the cord around the neck is like a rope that will strangulate their baby during labour. This is not true.

Divya was relieved to hear that her baby was not in danger. She asked about what may cause a single or double loop of cord around the neck and any risks to know.

What causes umbilical cord around the neck?

The umbilical cord sometimes gets wrapped around the baby’s neck as it moves in the womb. The cord itself is long,  soft and filled with a jelly-like substance that cushions the blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to the baby. 

What are the risks of umbilical cord around neck?

In the unlikely event that these blood vessels get compressed and there is reduced oxygen flow to the baby, your gynecologist will pick it up as part of their routine monitoring during labour. They might advise changes in your position to help relieve the compression or an emergency cesarean section. But it’s important to keep in mind that a cesearean section is needed in very few cases.

Also Read: C Section Delivery: 9 Indications Where It May Be Avoidable

Divya couldn’t help wondering how to remove a single loop of cord around the neck. 

What do you do when the umbilical cord is around the baby’s neck?

There is nothing that can be done to remove the cord around the baby’s neck

“All you need to do is remain optimistic and believe that your baby is well,” counseled Dr. Anita.

Is normal delivery possible with cord around the neck?

The Sitaram Bhartia Maternity team has delivered several babies with cord around the neck normally.  There have even been a few mothers whose babies had 4 loops of nuchal cord around the neck.

Divya relaxed when she heard that a cord around the neck does not harm the baby in most cases. She was even more glad to learn that a normal delivery with cord around the neck is possible.  

With all her worries put to rest by the gynecologist, Divya decided to continue consulting Dr. Anita for the rest of her pregnancy.

 In a few weeks, she went into labour and delivered a healthy baby girl. Her baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped twice around her neck but did just fine.

Are you based in Delhi? Our hospital, Sitaram Bhartia, is located in South Delhi and has a team of experienced gynecologist who have handled many cases of cord around neck. If you are interested in seeking a second opinion, click the WhatsApp button below to book a paid consultation. 

Watch as new mother Divya excitedly shares her experience:

Click on the image above to watch Divya’s video


Many parents understandably panic when they find out about a single, double or four loops of cord around the fetal neck. If you or someone you know is in the situation, read on to know answers to commonly asked questions that may have crossed your mind.

FAQs about cord around neck

What percent of babies are born with the cord around their neck?

About 33% of babies are born with the umbilical cord around the neck.

Are there any symptoms for umbilical cord around neck? 

There are no symptoms that would indicate that the cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck in the womb. 

Is it normal to have umbilical cord around neck?

Yes, it is normal for the umbilical cord to be found around the baby’s neck at 32 weeks, 33 weeks, 35 weeks, 37 weeks or even 38 weeks. This may happen because the cord moves with the baby and may have tangled around the baby’s neck. Once detected, however, it is important to have regular check-ups with a gynecologist so they can monitor your situation continuously. 

Is normal delivery possible with cord around the neck wound multiple times?

Yes, many times a normal delivery is possible. Your gynecologist will keep monitoring your progress and your baby’s development to keep track of how things are going.  

Is cord around neck dangerous? 

In most cases, a cord around the neck is not dangerous and should not be a cause of concern. In few cases, if the cord is short, the blood vessels maybe compressed or the cord maybe stretched in labour.  This can be detected by your doctor/caregiver during routine care in labour. 

Are there any long term effects of having an umbilical cord around the neck?

Many babies are born with a single loop of cord around the neck. Sometimes, the umbilical cord is wound two, three or four times around the neck but in each of these cases, there are no short or long term effects that are known to have occurred. 

Are there any precautions for cord around neck?

According to gynecologists, there are no precautions to be taken or ways to prevent a cord around the neck. The umbilical cord can slip off the baby’s neck at any time. Even if it does not, in many cases you can still have a vaginal birth without any complications.

This blog post has been written with editorial inputs from Dr. Anita Sabherwal Anand who has been practicing in the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology for 24+ years.

dr-anita-sabherwal-anand-imageMedically Reviewed by Dr. Anita Sabherwal Anand

MBBS, MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology), DNB Secondary (Obstetrics & Gynaecology), National Board of Medical Education, New Delhi (1999)

You may like to read:


Liked this article? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for more such content!

Come in for a consultation  Please Chat with us on WhatsApp to schedule an appointment.