A short umbilical cord may be associated with a number of problems at delivery.

The length of the umbilical cord is the distance along the cord from the umbilicus to the placental insertion.


Percentile for Cord Length (Yamamoto)

Length in cm


33 cm


43 cm


48 cm


Other definitions for a short cord:

(1) < 40 cm

(2) < 35 cm


Findings associated with a short umbilical cord:

(1) unplanned cesarean delivery

(2) complications during labor and delivery

(3) fetal distress or fetal heart rate abnormalities

(4) forceps delivery or arrest of fetal descent

(5) small-for-gestational age

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