A nuchal cord occurs when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the fetal neck 360 degrees.
- A "Type A" nuchal cord is wrapped around the neck.
- A "Type B" nuchal cord is a hitch and is not wrapped. In the Type B case, a caesarian section delivery may be recommended but is not necessary.
Doppler ultrasound has been successfully used to identify a Nuchal cord, and also to determine the orientation of the loop.
Prognosis and treatment
Nuchal cord can be managed by home fetal monitoring. Nuchal cord can be a cause of stillbirth but can also be prevented.
Cutting the umbilical cord should not be done until it has stopped pulsating (upwards of 20 minutes after birth). In the case of a nuchal cord the child is still receiving blood and oxygen to the brain. As always the umbilical cord should not be cut until it ceases to pulsate (after all the blood from the placenta has been sent to the child.)