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what goldfinches said is basically true...except that a cord wrapped around the neck is not getting nearly as constricted as you might think because the head and chest, both larger than the neck, are taking the greatest amt of pressure in the birth canal. Now, if it were wrapped a few times so that there was little or no slack left in it, and the cord was getting pulled really tight during pushing, that could cause some circulation/oxygenation issues. Having the cord around the neck is fairly common--but true problems from it are very unusual.
I have heard so many of these stories "good thing I got a csec because the cord was around the baby's neck!"--and I'd have to say that most often this is just pure malarkey spouted by docs to cover up unnecessary csecs. It is also pretty common for babies' heartrates to drop some during later labor as baby is descending. This is another malarkey factor I hear about a lot--but as long as HR doesn't drop below 100 for too long, and continues to recover between contrax, it is just rarely a problem.
Comforts of Home Midwifery
Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!
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