Stillbirth Hypercoiled Umbilical Cord

11 Replies
paolan - February 19

Has anyone ever experienced a stillbirth due to an Hypercoiled umbilical cord.


paolan - February 19

This is my story and I hope it can help some future parents prevent the loss of their baby. This was my 3 pregnancy and evrything looked great till the 20 week ultrasound when they told me our baby had an eco focus and club feet . We met with a perinatologist and he suggested that any 2 "abnormalities" in a pregnancy could be sign for Down Syndrome. We had an ammio performed altough we were not going to terminate we were already in love with our baby boy but we wanted to be prepared and do some resarch meet with families that are in the same situation; Ammio results came back and no Ds or other genetic disorder . We were so happy. Pregnancy progressed great . Dec 31 2008 I went for my last prenatal appointment and Jan 2 went to the hospital for my schedule c section. Nurses / Midwifes could not detect an herat beat . We started to panic but still had no idea of what was to come . It turned to an emergency c section in the hope that something could still be done to save the baby, It was too late baby had died few hours prior the c section due to an hypercoiled umbilical cord .Pathologist told us is extremely rare but yet it can happen. Since the loss of our baby I have done extensive resarch and spoke with few doct. Stillbirth in America occurs 26000 times a year most of 3 trimester are due to umbilcal cord accident, Only way to prevent it is doppler of the umbilcal cord . No signs during pregnancy for some women for others slow growth. I hope this can help somewhat.


Abigailsmommy - February 20

I am very sorry for your loss. I also lost my baby at 39 weeks. She was stillborn on December 22. I had a total placental abruption. Everything had been fine the whole entire pregnancy. You do not realize how many stillbirths occur until it happens to you. thankyou for sharing your story and again I am really sorry for you loss.


comommy - February 23

BOth of your stories break my heart. We just had twin boys 2/6/09, and I had a placental abruption with twin A at 14-21 wks, but he held on, and then baby B had his cord so tight around his neck that they could barely cut if off (I insisted on them doing the c-sect early 36 w 3 d as opposed to 4 days later at 37 wks (I had severe pre-eclampsis w/bp of 180/112 on bed rest! and was very afraid of an abruption and all 3 of us dying and b/c I was so afraid of a cord accident as well-Baby B was moving less and less each day), turns out I was right, he likely woulnd't have made it if we waited until the next day. I think that more needs to be published about both abruptions and cord accidents, as they are not rare causes of fetal death in late pregnancy! How often do they have to do dopplers of the umbilcal cord to see if there's a problem or pending cord accident??? Why do you have to wait for6 months or 9 mos to get pg again b/c of a c sect-? I was hoping to do another IVF within 3 mos, but with the twins I had my 3rd c sect too.?? Anyone find out if what kind of placenta problems could happen with too soon of preg after c sect? YOU BOTH ARE IN MY PRAYERS FOR STRENGTH, and COURAGE, and HEALING!!!!!


paolan - February 23

Comommy, Hi I'm so happy that you followed your instict. You are right more should be done to prevent the loss of a baby,in my case the ob felt there was no need for more ultrasound my last was at 20 weeks and on dec31 baby''s heart was ok .I went to my post partum check up doc said i heald great from previous 2 c section no scar tissue or adeshion but that i should wait at least 9 months before trying again ; There are lots of info about rpeat c section ,too soon may put you and your baby at higher risk of placenta problema and stillbirth ,I can't take that chance but I so long a baby in my arms ,I need time to heal phisically and emotionally I wish I could bring my baby boy back but I can't and I'm so scared of ever experiencing another loss I could not do it. Enjoy your babies.


bible1s - March 31

Hello, I am so sorry for your losses. I too just lost my little baby boy. Delivered him stillborn at 24 weeks 3/10/09. All previous ultrasounds looked great and the extensive testing they did around 18 weeks all looked perfect. Pathology report of the placenta and cord showed a hypercoiled cord (4 times more than normal) and the OB who delivered me said that the cord narrowed where it entered his belly b___ton, so they put those two together and said it appears that the cord just kept on coiling until it ultimately pinched off at his belly b___ton. I have 5 other children (one set of twins) and of course, all the others were normal. I would really like to know if there's anything out there that says what they think causes hypercoiling. Does anyone know?


paolan - April 1

So sorry to hear that B ' mom ;I got some literature about it and since it has happend I have spoken to few doct.Death due to Hpercoiled cords can be prevented if caught on time, some signs are IUGR and less fetal movement ,most of the cases occurs in 3 rd trimester and a doppler of the cord would show less blood flow ,in a study done in Japan 10 women were observed and Hpercoiled umbilical cord was noted between 24 weeks gestation and 39 ,again due to those signs I mentioned before ; I had 2 previous pregnancy full tem c section helathy boys ,this was just a fluck like they said ,still there is not a day that goes by where I don't feel guilty or miss holding my baby in my arms ,I was so busy with the holidays the new baby on the way I did not do my kick counting I noticed he was moving less but I tought it was because he was getting bigger and he was tired just like his mommy ; shame on me but again every situation is different ,you were early and baby still small to feel much movement and they can tell yet why baby keeps turning on the same side my baby's cord was 7 times more coiled then a normal one. Hope you 'll get some answers and yes what a sad and preventabe way of loosing a baby ( I wish they did doppler of the cord as routine test in later months of the pregnancy) I had no more us after the 2o weeks ,too long .......


bible1s - April 3

Paolan, thank you for the great info. Please don't feel guilty or blame yourself. I believe you did everything you could for him. I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it either if I had been in your situation because, like you said, they do move less later on. For me, I can never look back and think, "What if....?" That would just tear me apart. I've got to go on believing that there was nothing I did, nor anything I could have done to prevent this. I have to for my own sanity and for being able to care for the rest of my family. I'm guessing that once a hypercoiled cord is diagnosed, there's not much they can do in utero, right? Pretty much the only option then would be to deliver? I'd think in my situation, there wouldn't be much they could have done except just sent me home to pray for the best. I went to a high-risk OB/perinatologist group (for one, because I was considered high-risk with the twins and they let former patients return with subsequent babies, but also because I am hypothyroid which is somewhat of a higher risk.) They do tons of ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy, but they still didn't catch mine. (I love my OBs and don't hold them responsible.) Perhaps if he were a little bigger it might have been able to be seen. But I agree with you, I think they should routinely do doppler and/or ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy. Thank you again for your response. Blessings Dear One.


erinmatt - June 21

Paolan, I have a 1 year old currently but the year before her I lost my first little girl at 28 weeks, never did I think that I could loose one this late in my pregnancy. I had lots of cramping with the whole pregnancy and signs of infection my doctor failed to treat me correctly because of my age She said that i was the perfect age and health that I had nothing to worry about. After delivering my first baby she told me it was caused because of a hyercoiled umbilical cord, i got a second opinion from another doctor regarding the pathologist report the first doctor was a general physician and the second was an OB-GYno, the second told me that the report said it was from severe acute chorioamniontisis, which cause the hypercoil umbilical cord. When I was pregnant the second time I had all the same symptoms and told my new doctor he checked all my tests and sure enough I had an infection. But due to good ob care I delivered a healthy daughter after 3 months of bedrest. So If I were you I would request a copy of the Pathologist report.


smmom2 - August 31

I am reading these posts and have to add...after M/C a baby at 12 1/2 weeks I became pg with my son. He came 3 weeks early and all on his own. He was my longest and hardest delivery and come to find out because the cord was wrapped around his neck 2-3 times and he was blue when he came out. I honestly believe If he didnt come as early as he did that he would not have made it either. God had a hand in this!! I think it is not normal Protcol for OB's to doppler the cord and the more I hear about all this the more I believe they should. A friend of mine's friend just lost her first baby (and her DH was in Afghanistan) due to this reason. Baby was still born and it was incredibly sad for her to deliver alone. Anyways...I really hope more can be done to prevent this.


LillyK2014 - October 7

Sorry to hear about all of your losses. I also had a baby boy with a hypercoiled umbilical cord but he made it through a normal pregnancy and wild delivery. At birth he was completely full term (40 weeks) with excellent APGAR scores but weighed only 5 lb 9 oz. Full term and healthy, just a little guy. 

I had a normal pregnancy - he was on track size-wise all through to the 20 week ultrasound. I had no symptons that something was not going right. I had my prenatal care with a midwifery group so I always wonder whether my baby's slow growth (which started after the 20 week u/s) would have been detected had I gone to the typical ob gyn. 

There is not a lot out there about hypercoiled cords, and that's an incredible shame. With our advances in health care, no woman should have to endure an entire pregnancy and not realize her baby, who is seeminlgy developing fine, has a hypercoiled umbilical cord and in grave danger. I was told that stats are not collected about the quality/condition of umbilical cords at birth. I wish there was more attention to this so that our standard of care prenatal care will be more attentive to how the umbilical cord is developing. 

Hugs to all. OOO





destinyhope94 - October 8

Hello! I had this happen to me when I was at 37 weeks. I was pregnant with twins, no sign of anything wrong then all of a sudden one of their hearts stopped and we later found out it was due to torsion. I was told there's no way to tell or prevent but I've recently been looking into doppler sonograms and it looks like they actually CAN tell if something wasn't right with the umbilical cord- it's just not a technology that's used unless it appears it's really needed. I'm going to ask my OB/GYN about it next time I go. It couldn't save my little boy but if this was something that was offered to pregnant women then it could save so many! I know they say it's "rare" but it's not as rare as they make it to be... about a third of stillbirths are due to umbilical cord issues. Hopefully some changes can be made if it's true that the doppler sonogram CAN see umbilical cord issues.



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