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2 vessel cord

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm curious about 2 vessel cords, a friend of mine just found out her baby has a 2 vessel cord and is distraught at the thought her daughter might have a birth defect, be born still, or early. What are the stats for this condition? Or where can I find better information than the horror stories google is sharing?

Thank you!
post #2 of 13
There is a good discussion of single umbilical artery here (including stats)http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/262470-overview

Hope that helps.


ETA - I'm afraid the stats are not fantastic for this but there are several antenatal testing options which may help put your friend's mmind at ease. The article discusses them briefly too.
post #3 of 13
I am one of those horrible statistics.

DD1 had an SUA (2 vessel cord). Long of it short our provider failed to tell us, and failed to take our history into consideration and failed to monitor the pregnancy at the end.

We lost DD1 at full term. There is a good chance she had been having problems for a while, but because of lack of monitoring at the end, they were never caught.

The fact is, about 20-30% of kids with an SUA either have a birth defect, die before birth or shortly after birth. It also tends to be more common with female babies than male babies and with those who have more pregnancies than those who are first or second time moms.
post #4 of 13
I had this with my daughter and everything was fine. My OB totally freaked us out about it though, and treated me like I was going to explode if they didn't do every test known to man throughout my pregnancy "as a precaution". It made the pregnancy very very stressful. I wish that they had never even noticed it on the ultrasound, or that I had not had one.

The 2 vessel cord itself does NOT mean that there is a problem. It only means that there is a higher chance of there being defects. Usually, as in my case, they can send her to a specialist for an in depth ultrasound to determine if everything is ok. If they don't find anything in that ultrasound, odds are high that everything is fine.

BTW, they also say that babies with this are born small and early, but I was 18 days overdue and my baby was average size, healthy, and perfect. I have also known a couple other people with this that had no problems with their baby or pregnancy.
post #5 of 13
My daughter had a 2 vessel chord. She is perfectly healthy, was born at 41 weeks 2 days and was average weight. In my case they missed it on the ultrasound so we didn't find out about it until after she was born, which I think saved me a lot of stress. My daughter's pediatrician said that about 10% of babies with SUA have a problem (usually kidneys or heart) but that the other 90% are totally healthy.
post #6 of 13
I have a friend who had a 2 vessel cord with her second baby - noticed by u/s. Further u/s were done to check the kidneys (as it can indicate problems with these) but they were fine but they did find a heart defect. All said the heart defect was corrected a couple days after birth & was totally unrelated to the cord.

What her ob told her is that some women just seem to make 2 vessel cords. It was never noticed in her first pregnancy but she only had one early u/s. Like a pp said a 2 cord vessel does not mean for sure there will be a problem - but it can be an indication of a problem.

I hope things go well for your friend.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I want to thank all of you for your stories and information. And khaoskat I'm so sorry for your loss.
post #8 of 13
My mom had a two vessel cord with my sister 36 years ago. At that time, there were no ultrasounds, etc.

My sister was due on November 14 and born on November 24 weighing 4lbs. 14 oz. She had no eyelashes, eyebrows or fingernails. (She was bald too.) She looked like a little scrunched up old man. She had a lot of trouble with eating and lost more weight after birth. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks. No one who even thought they might be ill was allowed around her for about 3-6 months per doctor's orders.

She had a lot of struggles in school, but that was probably more because my mom sent her when she was four to K-garten. My sister probably would have been a low average/average student otherwise.

Once she put on weight she was the most beautiful baby EVER. Even though I was only about 3 when she was born, I still think bald babies are cuter than any other. She is now still stunningly beautiful and has three healthy kids of her own. BTW-she did not have any 2 vessel babies. Dr. told her it was a "fluke" my mom had one with her.
post #9 of 13
My 5 month old dd2 had a 2 vessel cord. She does have a life threatening heart defect (that is about to be completely repaired) but the cardiac doc refuses to say the 2 are related. It was not even on any doctors radar here. She was full term and a big baby!
post #10 of 13
I have one friend who's 2nd (out of 7) child had a 2 vessle cord. It wasn't picked up on until he was born, he was 3 days "overdue", a good weight and healthy. Now he is Autistic, but so is his brother and his sister has Aspergers. I do not think it's related to the 2 vessel cord.

Another friend more recently had an U/S show that her baby had 2 vessels. Her OB paniced and sent her for bi-weekly ultrasounds, despite no other defects showing up. It was majorly stressful to her but the baby was born. 3 weeks early (that was her doing though) and a little cross-eyed but otherwise normal. The cord itself was incredibly long and had 3 true knots in it as well.
post #11 of 13
They just found this at our US last Friday.

I was told that if SUA is the only issue then not to worry about it. I have talked to numerous L&D nurses and midwives and most all still have the birth they want, even a home birth if this is the only problem. It's not that rare either to have and a lot of times they miss it and discover it at birth and there never was a problem. It is more common in mothers who are having girls and are white with more then 2-3 children.

I freaked out too at the first thought of this. Thankfully though from what they can see the baby's heart and kidneys are fine, which they told me the SUA isn't a big deal at all. I go back in 2 weeks for another scan since they couldn't get a total view of all the heart like they wanted too since she was so active. I've been researching my brains out on this.
post #12 of 13
I just wanted to add to this post, in case someone was looking for more recent info. on member experiences with SUA.

My daughter was born March 2008. At our 20 week scan they found out she had a 2 vessel cord, so we had extra monitoring through the rest of my pregnancy. She was born at full term, totally healthy, 8lbs 7oz. Months later she had a scan and her kidneys, etc. were all fine.

I would encourage any Mom whose baby is diagnosed with SUA to try and relax. Just make sure that you try to avoid prom/arom, pitocin and laying flat on your back during labor. If my midwife/doctor had been more aware of those issues, I probably would not have had a c/s.

Here is a good link:
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh I guess I better update! My mama friend welcomed a healthy normal little girl (over 8lbs) at the end of Janurary. They had lots of further testing and found nothing wrong during her pregnancy.

All the positive stories really helped her stay calm through the testing.
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