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My aunt is a u/s tech and I went in and let her do an anatomy scan on me a few weeks ago. I mentioned, in passing, that both my other boys had very short cords at birth and she said, "Wow, those can be really dangerous."<br><br>
Ds1 was born via c-section at 30 weeks. I had PPROM at 20 weeks and just assumed his cord was short b/c he was kind of locked into a position so early. It was 5-6 inches long according to the op report.<br><br>
Ds2 was a HBAC. When they put him on my chest, it actually pulled part of the placenta off my uterine wall. I ended up with a shot of methergine (sp?) to stop the bleeding (although we didn't discover the placenta had come off the wall until it delivered and saw a huge blood clot on the uterine side of it; and I don't guess we know that for sure, it is just our best guess as to what happened). His cord couldn't have been longer than 12 inches (that is a generous estimate based on my recollection).<br><br>
So I'm curious if this is something that needs intervention. I am currently planning my 2nd HBAC but certainly don't want to go through with it if I need to be in a hospital setting.
 

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There's some chance it can prevent the baby from getting into position or descending if it's really short, so you'd have to monitor position before labor and watch for any problems in descent during (and be ready transfer if it's needed). And of course after birth you'd have to keep baby down low until clamping and cutting or til the placenta came so you don't pull the placenta again.
 

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I was recently at a birth (assisting) where the cord was short enough that it snapped as the baby emerged. Fortunately the provider saw it happen and pinched it off at the baby's umbilicus until she could get the clamp on. Once the placenta came we saw that the cord was indeed really short. The baby didn't lose any significant amt of blood, but good for your provider to have in the back of her mind to have her supplies close at hand!
 

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We had a short cord. DD could'nt get past my belly button after she was born. Fortunately it didn't cause any problems.
 

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I had the opposite and not really worth mentioning but I will lol.<br><br>
DD3s cord was massively long and thin, it was really odd looking and the MW was stunned!
 

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It can be a problem but it usually isn't. It can make it hard to get baby onto the breast before clamping and cutting (baby's sucking often stimulates detachment and further contractions, so it can delay an intended lotus birth for a good while if the placenta isn't coming until the baby sucks). If it's really short it can stop the baby getting into a good position for birth. In general, like long cords, it makes little difference. Long cords are more likely to get knotted (because baby has room to loop them up when swimming about in mid-pregnancy) but again, often even true knots don't cause any problems, and completely average-lengthed cords can cause problems too. I personally wouldn't be too worried about it.
 

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I agree with GoBecGo--not to worry. Only rarely are cords short enough to actually prevent birth (or cause cord tearing as mentioned--and usually before that occurs your mw would notice some poor heart tones in baby as strain was placed on the cord).<br><br>
I have seen a handful cords short enough that mom had to keep baby either between her legs or only as high as her lower belly, prior to cord cutting. I've seen only one so short that baby could only barely get out, and once out there was only just enough room between baby and mom to clamp/cut the cord (w/baby lying crosswise, very close to mom's yoni).<br><br>
Usually, with a short cord, mom and baby work things out gently during labor to maximize birth success: you might see a longish labor, or a stop/start again labor followed by a fast/furious 2nd stage. Such tactics work to bring baby and placenta down together slow and sure, the womb taking time to keep itself /placenta gathered closely to the baby so as to minimize cord strain and maximize effectiveness/safety of baby and mom--and these babies can be quieter during labor, they are not the kind that kick themselves out the door. I think this is because if they make such efforts to help themselves get out (which some babies definitely do!), the strain on the cord impacts their circulation and stops them.<br><br>
Anyway, this is my theory developed after seeing short cords, or multiwrapped cords (which effectively makes far less cord to work with during birth, even if the cord is plenty long). Of course we can't actually see what is going on--so my theory (shared by others birth pros I know) has developed from witnessing such births, seeing how beautifully well mom and baby work out things to a successful, safe outcome for both. Whether or not this theory is 100% accurate, it is true in my experience, and that of others, that short cords/multiwrapped cords most always work out well for mom and baby.<br><br>
Again, cords short enough to be a real problem do occur--but only very rarely. I think you can expect a shortish cord, seems you grow em that way....but there is really no cause to worry about a cord being *too* short for safety. And who knows--maybe this time you'll grow and longer cord anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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interestingly in the case of the snapped cord I mentioned earlier the heart tones were perfect as the baby descended with a two hour push. this was a twin birth and baby A was the one with the short cord - no placenta until baby B born and that was when we could see how short A's cord was. we had another mama a couple of months ago who never progressed past 8 cm after hours and hours, baby remained high and finally heart tones became very concerning. she eventually had a c/s and the cord was measured to be no more than 12 inches - extremely short.<br><br>
of course these are outliers and most cords are adequately long to get the baby out, if not well up on onto the mama. there is no way to know ahead of time, but since your last was successfully birthed I wouldn't spend time in worry about it!
 
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