What is a false knot in an umbilical cord?
A false knot (or pseudoknot) is a very common variation in umbilical cords caused by extra looping of the blood vessels inside the whartons jelly. False knots do not have any clinical significance and can range from very small to several centimetres. The video below shows one example of a larger false knot. Drying out the cord enables you to see the blood vessels inside the whartons jelly quite well.
- True knots are when the umbilical cord loops upon itself (from baby's activity inside the womb) and can be physically untied. False knots occur within the cord and can not be untied while the cord is intact.
- True knots occur only around 0.5 - 1% of births whereas false knots occur in a lot of births.
- False knots do not have any clinical significance and don't present any danger to mum or baby. A true knot may be clinically significant especially if they are very tight as they can restrict blood flow to the baby, often baby is fine however.
Did you have a false knot or a true knot in your cord? Share your experience below
You can learn more about the medical side of cord knots here on Medscape
Kelly Harper has been providing professional placenta encapsulation services for families around Adelaide and South Australia since 2012. As the Founder of Placenta Services Australia she has a strong interest in placenta encapsulation safety and research.