Sad Thread...questions about umbilical cords.

Tiny Sue

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2005
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What does a Nuchal scan mean?

I THINK it's when they scan for the umbilical cord and possible complications, but I'm not 100% sure. Does everyone get this, and are cord complications hereditary?

I ask because a) but for a very quick midwife who noticed the cord around my brother's neck when he was being born, he wouldn't be here.
b) a cousin of ours recently lost a full term boy because his umbilical cord stopped his airway.

Sorry about the sad thread girls, it's shocked me a lot, and I can't help feeling a bit nervous about it.


I thought a nuchal scan was about looking at the neck and head and could show possible Downs Syndrome, I'm not sure eiher. I have not heard anyhting about cord complications being hereditry. A friend of mine lost a baby at 36 weeks due to cord problems and have gone on to have a healthy boy who is 2 this year. xx
I think it is something to do with the back of the neck and downs syndrome.

The Nuchal Scan is done between a certain time (11 weeks- something else..cant remember) and it done to determine whether there is thickening at the back of the neck which could mean that the baby has Downs Sydrome. It has to be done at a certain time. Here in Milton Keynes we were not offered it but could have paid privately to have it done.
The 20 week Anomoly scan determines if everything is ok with the baby, and this is when the babys limbs are measured, head perimeter etc, heart chambers. But unsure whether they would have been able to see the cord and where it was. This scan is normally given as part of the NHS Care.

So dreadfully sad bout your cousin.

Ragna xxxxxxxxxx
just so you knoe the Nuchal scan is done between 11 and 13 weeks to test for downs syndrome, be aware that not all areas offer it on the NHS, i was advised that if we wanted the scan it would cost around £100
Hi Tiny Sue,
as mentioned, the nuchal fold scan is indeed for down syndrome, hospitals test for this in one of two ways either the scan, or more commonly blood tests, the scan is a far better way of checking for this as the % of correctness is far higher, as this hasent been avaliable for long, most hospitals still just offer the standard blood tests instead, which only tell you you baby might have downs, and further tests such as an amnio are required.

As for cord problems, dont worry these are not heredatory, its just an occasional freak occurance that could happen to anyone, chances are very slim and there is nothing you can do about it. hence why from 30 weeks its recmnded to keep a kick chart and if you go 12 hours without feeling a movement then you need to contact yor midwife and they will check to see if all is okay.
Thanks girls... I'm sorry if I depressed or scared anyone, it's just that i had such a shock when I heard, as I had been going to tell our cousins that I was expecting. I didn't know what to say, as I heard the information secondhand. I called her mother in law ( cousin) and ws told that she had delivered a 9 pound 2 ounce full term boy, and the only possible thing that could have gone wrong was that the cord had stopped his airway.
I told her mother in law that I was expecting, but didn't know what to say when I write to her - I haven't seen her in a long time, which explains why I didn't know she was pregnant. I think I'll just leave it at an expression of sympathy. I really don't want to make her feel worse.

I'm useless when it comes to sensitive communications like this, but I really want to sympathise.

Unfortunately pregnancy is not always happy, my sister lost her baby at 8 weeks when I was 6 weeks and it was awful, it's still really hard as she talks about how far she would have been :(

Anyway, I had a nuchal scan at 13 weeks and they just check your chances of Downs, they give you a possibility mark, mine was around 1 in 13000, so basically not much chance. The possibility goes down as your age goes up, and they only normally do them if you are over 37 or if you pay for it privately because you want to!

I hope this helps a little more.

Take Care

Emma & Little Pip
Got this from the NHS website, where is have info on other tests;

A nuchal scan (or serum screen) is offered to women over 35 at 11-13 weeks of pregnancy. The mother has an ultrasound scan to measure the amount of fluid at the back of the baby's neck (the nuchal translucency). It’s used to work out the likelihood of the baby having Down’s syndrome - babies with Down's syndrome have a thicker layer. The mother’s age and medical history is also considered.

Here is the link to all the tests info; ... inkID=4841

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