The fetal umbilical cord moves all the time, so does the fetus. And sometimes ultrasound shows it dangling between the baby’s legs. It is harmless, but moms may find this disappointing as the sonography cannot confirm the baby’s gender. Just as you look forward to knowing your baby’s sex, the umbilical cord gets in the way. But don’t worry, you can always repeat the exams after a week. What is more concerning is the possibility of cord abnormalities that threatens the survival of the growing fetus.
Checking the umbilical cord for anomalies is essential since it may cause possible harm to the baby. If the doctor discovers problems with it, he will require close monitoring and regular ultrasound. He will also dispense treatment as needed.
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What is an umbilical cord?
The umbilical cord carries blood and nutrients from the placenta to the fetus. It also brings in oxygen and removes the waste products. The umbilical cord is thus considered as the baby’s supply line.
At five weeks of pregnancy, the umbilical cord begins to grow.
It will reach up to about 24 inches by the 28th week. As it grows long, the cord will coil as it floats around with the fetus. Sometimes, it is inevitable for it to get in the way and cover the baby’s genitals during an ultrasound.
But the umbilical cord between the baby’s legs is nothing to worry about. Except, of course, it will disappoint the expecting parents.
They are likely to retake the ultrasound to find out if they are having a girl or a boy. But other cord abnormalities are dangerous for the growing fetus, especially when it grows longer than usual.
What should you do if the umbilical cord is between the legs?
My friend who experienced it during her first pregnancy was pretty disappointed. Just like her, I bet most future parents will be upset too.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it. The baby inside your womb changes position every time. As the baby’s position changes, the umbilical cord also adjusts. Thus, the results of ultrasound images vary each visit.
If the umbilical cord is between the legs of your baby during the ultrasound, all you can do is to wait it out until your next doctor’s visit and have it checked again.
Is it safe to do a repeat ultrasound to check for the baby’s gender?
I get how parents tend to be overly excited about their baby’s gender. I’m an aunt, and I’m always excited knowing about the gender of my future nieces and nephews too!
Sometimes, I even get more excited than my expecting cousins! But excitement aside, is it safe for you to do a repeat ultrasound just to finally have that gender reveal?
Ultrasounds are extremely safe for moms and babies.
Usually, a pregnant woman gets at least two scans during her entire pregnancy, given that it’s a healthy and uncomplicated one. However, if some problems arise, such as a high-risk pregnancy or the unborn baby is under a serious condition, repeat ultrasounds can be done.
Having said that, you can request your doctor for a repeat ultrasound if you really want to check your baby’s gender. But you have to fervently hope that the umbilical cord has already shifted by that time so that your baby’s gender is visible.
Is ultrasound the only way to know my baby’s gender?
No, there are other ways for you to know whether you’re expecting a girl or a boy. Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) can determine the gender of your baby. However, it is not primarily done for gender identification. The real purpose of NIPT is to check for genetic abnormalities and disorders like Down Syndrome.
There are also at-home testing kits that you can buy. Such kits claim that they can reveal your baby’s gender as early as 8 weeks of pregnancy. But there’s not enough scientific research to validate these claims yet and sending your blood sample to laboratories may also be expensive.
When can I know my baby’s gender with ultrasound?
The second ultrasound around 18 to 21 weeks into the pregnancy will usually show the baby’s gender along with other developments. However, your baby’s sex may already be visible as early as 12-14 weeks.
Having the umbilical cord between the legs is harmless. So, parents-to-be doesn’t need to worry about this. The only disappointment comes because you won’t be able to know the gender of your baby just yet.
But hey, if you want surprises in store, then the umbilical cord sets you up for one of your life’s major surprises!
Will you or will you not do a repeat ultrasound to check your baby’s gender? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!
Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She had experiences in handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also used to train in labor rooms and pediatric wards – helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.