As soon as reddit user azathothfrog’s son was born, the doctors rushed him over to snap a photo of an unusual sight.
His newborn’s umbilical cord was tied in a perfect knot. The doctors said, “Hurry up dad, take a picture your baby is a miracle.”
Let’s face it, umbilical cords are phenomenal to begin with, providing a lifeline between mothers and babies. However when this crucial carrier is tied in a perfect knot, it can compromise the baby’s health.
Rare, but risky
According to the medical journal, Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, the condition is an uncommon, yet not unheard of occurrence,
“The incidence of true knot of the umbilical cord is not only very low but it is often undiagnosed antenatally when present despite the availability of prenatal ultrasonography.”
True knots can occur throughout all trimesters, making it especially difficult to detect them in the third trimester when the view can be obscured by the baby.
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What causes a knot?
Several factors can increase the likelihood of a true umbilical cord knot occurring. These include, in utero movements of the foetus, advanced maternal age , male foetuses and long umbilical cords.
There is also a greater chance of knots and twists occurring with multiples pregnancies, such as the wonderful story we brought you of the “Twirlies“, twins whose cords were so entangled they were also deemed miracle babies.
Precautions during birth
Knots are generally loose when in utero, however it’s when they tighten that concerns are raised.
Doctors will generally recommend a caesarian section as the knot may be loose in utero, but can tighten during the baby’s descent through the birth canal.
Despite this, if a woman is near term, a trial labour can be attempted because of the body’s incredible ability to produce what’s known as Wharton’s jelly. This substance surrounds the foetal vessels and thickens during childbirth, allowing protection against blockages of arteries.
We’re so glad this family had a happy outcome!