I had heard of cord blood banking and was always sure to say "Daddy wants to cut the cord!"
My first three babies were born in the hospital and as soon as their slippery vernix coated bodies immersed,my obstetrician would immediately clamp,clamp and hand a pair of scissors to daddy "Cut right here!"
It was just 'part of the process'-but to me the whole experience in the hospital was too assembly line feeling........it didn't feel right.
After having overmedicalized births in the hospital,I was determined to have a natural,peaceful birth at home.
I read so many books about natural birth,homebirth and gentle birthing......and in every one of the books the baby was immediately placed on the mothers chest and left there until the placenta was delivered.
I learned that it was healthier to wait until the cord stopped pulsating before cutting it.
So when I pushed Jacobi out of my body and reached down to pull him out of the water,his umbilical cord stayed attached.
I sat there with him for about 25 minutes and then spontaneously birthed the placenta.
We left the cord un-clamped for another 10 minutes before cutting it.
This practice felt natural......it was a more peaceful transition from the womb to being on his own.
Our homebirth baby Jacobi with delayed cord clamping barely cried.....he squawked and nestled in at the breast.
It was a drastic difference from my three hospital birthed babies who all screamed and carried on and when they finally calmed down it was as if they were purely exhausted.
I now attribute early cord clamping,along with other happenings like rough handling,bright lights and vigorous rubbing to the reason they reacted differently after birth.
|The cord is most often clamped and cut within seconds of birth|
Active management of third stage often involves administration of synthetic Oxytocin (pitocin) after the baby is born, early clamping and/or cutting of the umbilical cord, and cord traction to deliver the placenta.
In U.S. hospitals, the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord is typically performed within 30 seconds of birth, sometimes sooner. This is done because immediate cord clamping is believed to lower the mother's risk of heavy bleeding and the baby's risk of jaundice … but this practice may actually be detrimental to the baby's health.
|Ideally the cord should not be clamped for several minutes|
Picture found http://cord-clamping.com/images-videos/
Why delay cord clamping/cutting?
Waiting to clamp the umbilical cord allows a physiological transfer of placental blood to the infant which provides sufficient iron reserves for the first 6 to 8 months of life, preventing or delaying the development of iron deficiency
In other words:
Your baby gets up to 32% more blood volume in their body when you delay cord clamping!
This is blood that belongs to the baby!
There is also a benefit to the mother:
With delayed cord clamping the placenta is less bulky, and more easily expelled.
Also avoiding controlled cord traction eliminates the risk of pulling out an incompletely separated placenta, tearing or snapping the cord, partial or full inversion of the uterus.
In other words:
Your body will probably do a better job of removing the placenta on it's own due to less blood volume in the placenta.
And with an easier delivery of the placenta,it's less likely to leave parts of itself behind-which is dangerous-and more likely to happen if someone is pulling on the cord.
"Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproved intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change."
|Just because it's 'normal' doesn't make it RIGHT.|
Picture found here
What are the risks associated with immediate cord clamping?
Without the burst of blood from the placenta, the baby suffers a drop in blood pressure as its lungs struggle to begin functioning as they should,causing a chain reaction of effects that can include brain damage and lung damage. Immediate cord clamping can cause hypotension, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and infant anemia, resulting in cognitive deficits.
- Completely cuts off the infant brain's oxygen supply from the placenta before lungs begin to function.
- Stops placental transfusion -- the transfer of a large volume of blood (up to 50% increase in total blood volume) that is used mainly to establish circulation through the baby's lungs to start them functioning.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Learning disorders and mental deficiency
- Behavioral disorders
- Respiratory distress
|There are options for delayed clamping in a c-section birth|
Picture found here
What if I give birth via Cesarean Section?
It's still possible in many cases.
There are a few ways that your baby can stay connected with the placenta.
It's important that you discuss with your provider your wishes......and if met with resistance,point out that some practitioners routinely practice delayed cord clamping with a cesarean section.
50 minute video talking about delayed cord clamping!
"Babies, the smallest most vulnerable citizens of this world. Unintentionally medical authorities set protocols for childbirth which are unkind for the mothers and terrible for babies. When childbirth is not gentle, when the mother is rushed through her passage with interventions, when episiotomy is used to widenthe yoni, when the baby's umbilical cord is cut immediately upon birth, when the baby is separated from his or her mother, taken away to be observed in a plastic box, profound trauma has happened. The Baby traumatized at birth loses her trust and her capacity to love is impaired. She will need years of nurturing to heal this. What a wonderful world this will be, when all the birth-keepers, doctors and specialists included, protect the Mother~Baby bond at birth and respect the right of each newborn to arrive on Earth without trauma. Imagine a world in which each and every human being is living with an intact capacity to LOVE & Trust"
~Robin Lim CNN Winner Hero of 2011
"What happens in a wisdom birth as we like to call it: You see the root,you see the stem and you see the fruit-which is the baby...you see it all.And once the mother and father bond to the baby intact with the placenta you can see that it's a real miraculous,holistic beautiful thing"
I believe as a culture we need to focus on making birth more peaceful for mothers and babies.
We need to realize that sometimes things need to change for the physical and emotional health of our future.
You may never know all of your options unless you do your own research to make an informed choice.
Cesarean Delayed Cord Clamping
Why delaying cord clamping benefits your baby
Cord clamping delay may prevent complications
Third stage maze-making informed choices
World Health Organizations supports delayed cord clamping
Five good reasons to delay clamping the cord
Delayed cord clamping should be standard in obstetrics