If the baby has a cord circular at birth, could there be a problem?
Cord wraps rarely cause problems.
The umbilical cord is often wrapped around the neck during pregnancy, due to movements of the baby. It is very common for many babies to be born with a circular cord, in fact about 1 in 3 babies are born with the umbilical cord around the neck.
Inside the uterus the fetus does not breathe through its lungs but through the umbilical cord, so having a circular cord does not mean that the baby cannot breathe. Oxygen reaches you through the placenta and the umbilical cord.
The umbilical cord is covered with a thick protective lining called Wharton jelly. This lining has the texture of cartilage and lines two arteries and a vein, which are the main channels for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. The function of Wharton's gelatin is to protect the blood vessels inside the umbilical cord from being crushed by twisting or compression, and therefore the supply of oxygen and nutrients can be affected. Wharton's jelly also prevents the formation of knots in the umbilical cord.
At the time of birth, once the baby's head is out, the healthcare personnel assisting the delivery will monitor the possible existence of umbilical cord loops around the baby's neck. If the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck and is not tight, a finger will be placed between the cord and the neck, undoing the loop, and sliding it over the baby's head. Normally, you will be asked not to push for one minute while undoing the circular.
Sometimes the cord is twisted too tightly and the cord needs to be cut before the baby is born.
Related topics: What if the baby has a cord loop?