The umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby. It’s a vital link that sends nutrients and oxygen to the fetus while carrying away waste. If the cord is pushed through the cervix and becomes visible from the vagina before delivery, this is known as a cord prolapse. In some
cases, the birth will switch to an emergency C-section delivery.
There is a reason why a cord prolapse is considered high risk for a vaginal delivery. If the cord precedes the baby, the mother’s contractions can cause intense pressure that can compress the cord. This situation would severely reduce the blood supply, cutting off oxygen to the baby. Needless to say, this can lead to major complications.
It is an uncommon complication, occurring in about 1 in every 300 births. However, if it happens, an emergency C-section may be scheduled.