The Umbilical cord delivers nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. Often the cord can become compressed and the supply of oxygen to the child can be cut off or diminished. This is regularly evident on the fetal heart rate monitor by decelerations of the child’s heart.
If this occurs, the doctors should take immediate action to avoid further fetal distress and often an emergency c-section should be performed.
Actions need to be taken immediately because lack of oxygen to the child can cause severe brain damage and/or cerebral palsy.
The video below demonstrates how the umbilical cord can become compressed.