The formation and danger of knotted umbilical cords

The article was consulted professionally by Specialist Doctor II Pham Thi Xuan Minh, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Share99 Hai Phong International Health Hub.

The umbilical cord is the only path that connects the mother and child, bringing nutrients and nutrients to feed the baby. However, when the umbilical cord is knotted, it will seriously affect the pregnancy. Dangerous complications can occur both during pregnancy and during labor.

1. What is a knotted umbilical cord?

Knotted umbilical cord is one of the rare cases of pregnancy and childbirth but is a life-threatening danger to the fetus. According to the study, the ratio of knotted umbilical cords accounts for 0.3 – 2.2% of births and increases fetal mortality by 4 times higher than normal pregnancies.

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord plays an important role in the transport of oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the pregnancy, ensuring the life of the baby while in the womb. However, due to a certain factor, the umbilical cord is knotted, depending on the knot or liquid will cause complications during pregnancy.

2. Causes of knotted umbilical cord formation

The knotted umbilical cord is caused by the fetus moving, accidentally moving through the arcs of the umbilical cord forming the knot. There are a number of favorable factors that increase the risk of knotted umbilical cords such as:

  • The umbilical cord is too long
  • Multiple amniotic pregnancy
  • Small fetal size
  • The fetus is a boy (hyperactive)
  • Pregnant women with gestational diabetes
  • Pregnant woman with twin pregnancies 1 amniotic sac
  • Pregnant women with amniotic probing
  • Pregnant women who have had many births
  • Pregnant women take stimulants during pregnancy

It is difficult to determine exactly when to form a knotted umbilical cord. Knotted umbilical cord can form very early from 9-12 weeks gestation, because at this stage the volume of amniotic fluid is more than the volume of the fetus occupied.

Knotted umbilical cord

Pregnant women with gestational diabetes are factors that increase the risk of knotted umbilical cords

3. Is the knotted umbilical cord okay?

Knotted umbilical cords have cases of loose knots and tightening of the umbilical cord, the degree of danger will depend on the condition of the knot. If the tightening is liquid, the pregnancy will be less affected, on the contrary, if the umbilical cord tightens, the fetal relapse is hindered, the baby is not given oxygen gas, and nutrients can die as soon as it is in the womb. The ratio of knotted umbilical cord occurs only in about 2% of pregnant women, most of which are loosely knotted and do not harm the baby during pregnancy.

However, when still in the womb, the baby tends to always move through playing, turning the head … causes the umbilical cord knots to be loose and then tightened gradually, affecting the metabolism of the mother and baby. This also carries a risk for labor, when the baby's head is pushed out, the umbilical cord also pulls down, the knot becomes tighter, and it is very likely that the baby will die during normal labor if the umbilical cord is not recognized early.

On the other hand, there are also many cases where the umbilical cord is found to be knotted after the baby has safely given birth. This luck occurs because the umbilical cord of the baby is long, when moving the head of the fetus downwards does not stretch the umbilical cord, and the umbilical cord knot is not tightened too tightly.

4. Recognize signs of knotted umbilical cords

Knotted umbilical cord

Pregnant women can feel abnormal changes in fetal movement every day, especially during the last weeks of pregnancy

Pregnant women can feel abnormal changes in fetal movement every day, especially during the last weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant mothers should immediately visit to assess the health of the pregnancy if signs of knotted umbilical cord are detected such as: The fetus has little or weak fetal movement, the abdomen is risen, not rounded. It is best for pregnant women to have regular pregnancy examinations and ultrasounds, with which the pregnant woman should also regularly monitor the pregnancy heart to determine the risk to the baby whether or not.

Recognition through monitoring of pregnancy movement plays a decisive role in the emergency work of knotted umbilical cords. There have been many successful emergency cases of knotted umbilical cords but there are also countless unfortunate cases that occur, so pregnant women should not neglect, especially in the last months of pregnancy.

Currently there is no method to prevent umbilical cord knots from occurring in the womb. Therefore, proper maternity care is essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy and without complications.

Share99 International Health Hub offers a full maternity care program for women from the very beginning of pregnancy from the first months with a full range of pregnancy examinations, 3D ultrasounds, 4D routines and routine tests to ensure the mother is always healthy and the fetus develops comprehensively.

Obstetrics and Gynecology will be consulted and checked under the close supervision of experienced and professional obstetrician, helping mothers have more knowledge to protect their health during pregnancy as well as minimize complications affecting mothers and children.

For direct advice, please click hotline number or register online HERE. In addition, you can register for remote consultation HERE

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Nơi sinh sống

Hà Nội


Hồ Chí Minh

Ho Chi Minh City

Phú Quốc

Phu Quoc

Nha Trang

Nha Trang

Hạ Long

Ha Long

Hải Phòng

Hai Phong

Đà Nẵng

Da Nang

Nước ngoài


  • Signs of pregnancy that develop well in the middle 3 months
  • Instructions for monitoring pregnancy movement
  • Fetal weight and development in the last 3 months

About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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