It is rare for pregnant women to experience vaginal cord prolapse. Of the 1 in 300 cases that this happens, most vaginal cord prolapses are for reasons unrelated to car accidents. Umbilical cord prolapse is typically related to fetal abnormalities, having a baby in breech position, having an unusually long umbilical cord or due to carrying multiple fetuses. In a few rare cases, after a traumatic auto impact a woman can experience umbilical prolapse, especially if the impact sets of a premature labor. If a mother already had one of these abnormal circumstances, a severe impact while pregnant, may trigger a premature birth or ruptured membrane which then can lead to umbilical cord prolapse.
If an expectant mother’ amniotic sac breaks after a car accident and the mother-to-be feels that the umbilical cord has slipped out into the vagina she will want to take pressure off the cord. Stop standing. By getting onto your hands and knees, this will help remove some pressure. Additionally, this naturally pushes the uterus up and keeps the baby’s head from putting pressure on the cord. If you can feel the cord has protruded, use a clean towel and support the cord until help arrives. Providing support prevents gravity from allowing the cord to prolapse farther.
While in an ambulance being transported to the emergency room, the mother-to-be should expect that the EMT may take over holding the head of the baby and/or the cord while she remains on her knees. Additionally, they may apply a moist dressing to use to hold the umbiblical cord to prevent it from drying out.