Umbilical Cord Prolapse


The umbilical cord connects the fetus to the placenta, an organ that provides nutrition. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord passes through the birth canal and into the vagina in front of the baby's head. It occurs after the membranes have ruptured.As the baby passes through the birth canal during labor, it puts pressure on the umbilical cord. This compression of the umbilical cord decreases or can completely cut off blood flow and oxygen to the baby. Umbilical cord prolapse is a dangerous condition that can cause stillbirth unless the baby is delivered quickly, usually by cesarean section (C-section). Most babies delivered quickly through cesarean section do not suffer from complications caused by this condition.
Umbilical Cord Prolapse
Prolapsed Umbilical cord
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Umbilical cord prolapse is cause by the umbilical cord coming out of the uterus before the baby's head.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of umbilical cord prolapse:
  • Having a baby that is in the breech position
  • Premature rupturing of the membranes
  • Having multiple births in one pregnancy
  • Having an unusually long umbilical cord
  • Having too much amniotic fluid around the fetus—polyhydramnios
  • Artificial rupture of membranes


Seeing or feeling the umbilical cord in the vagina before the baby's delivery is a symptom of umbilical cord prolapse.

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »