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Is single umbilical artery harmful for the baby?

Q: My 26 years old wife is pregnant. Her recent scan reports that there is single umbilical artery and the baby is in breech position. Will this have adverse effects on the baby?

A:A single umbilical artery can be associated with certain birth defects - some can be picked up on a scan - provided the ultrasonologist is highly experienced. Also, there can be some babies with chromosomal anomalies - some of these can be picked up by scan. Your wife may require an amniocentesis, if deemed essential by your gynaecologist after reading the scan report. In labour there is a higher incidence of fetal distress requiring C-section. Please ensure your wife is booked for delivery in a tertiary level hospital with a good neonatologist and NICU.

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