Maternal and fetal correlates of umbilical cord length in a sample of deliveries at a tertiary hospital in Southern Nigeria


  • Olakunle I. Makinde Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
  • Nkencho Osegi Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria



Umbilical cord length, Parity, Fetal sex, Length at birth, Birth weight, Placenta weight


Background: Long and short umbilical cords are associated with adverse perinatal outcome. This study aimed to determine whether umbilical cord length at birth has a correlation with maternal parity, maternal age, sex of the baby, birth weight, birth length and placenta weight.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study conducted at the federal medical centre Yenagoa, Nigeria. Data collected using a pre-designed proforma was analysed using IBM SPSS statistics version 23.

Results: Mean age of the parturient was 31.1±4.4 years. Half were multiparous. Mean birth weight, birth length and placenta weight were 3.18±0.57 kg, 49.31±3.18 cm and 0.65±0.18 kg respectively. Mean umbilical cord length was 55.75±7.10 cm. There was a significant relationship and a positive correlation between umbilical cord length, parity (ɼ=0.39; p=0.001) and birth length (ɼ=0.27; p=0.024). Difference between male and female babies’ cord length was not statistically significant (ꭓ2=0.36; p=0.721). There was no significant relationship between maternal age, birth weight, placenta weight and umbilical cord length.

Conclusions: Umbilical cord length increased significantly with increasing parity and birth length from this study. Women of increasing parity are therefore at increased theoretical risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with long umbilical cords during labour and delivery. The relationship between cord length and birth length may be dependent on parity. This requires further study. There was no significant relationship between umbilical cord length and maternal age, sex of the baby, birth weight and placenta weight.


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Original Research Articles