3rd Trimester

wait to cut the umbilical cord?

Hello everyone,

I don't post on here very often, but I have a question that is perplexing me.

I'm finalizing my birth plan, since I'm due any day now. I was wondering if anyone knows what the pros and cons are of having the doctor wait a short time before cutting the umbilical cord (until it stops pulsing) and if anyone has actually done this before when they gave birth.

I'm considering adding this to my birth plan, and if anyone could share their experiences with me, it would be so great Big Smile

 Thank you!!

«1

Re: wait to cut the umbilical cord?

  • There are a ton of stem cells in the cord, and if they just cut it immediately, and you're not planning on banking them, those cells will just go to waste.

    So the theory is that it's much better to let the baby have them, since they were meant for him/her anyway, then to let the doctor trash the cord so quickly.

    Batman likes to watch cartoons on the weekends. Whatever.
    image

    "I'll gladly take cold sores over eye herpes" -ElieFin
    "Unicorn glitter gives me UTIs." -Leila'sMommy
  • I did it!  I dont think there is a con (though for some reason I think I remember reading that if you are donating/banking cord blood you cant do this)

    Waiting to cut the cord allows all the rest of the iron and other "goodies" in the blood to transfer to the baby.  I loved it.  They put him on my belly and I just stared at him, taking him in while they did NOTHING.  It was our time.  Once it stopped pulsing they cut it and cleaned him up.  I'm 100% doing it again!

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.
  • image sandy02:

    I did it!  I dont think there is a con (though for some reason I think I remember reading that if you are donating/banking cord blood you cant do this)

    Waiting to cut the cord allows all the rest of the iron and other "goodies" in the blood to transfer to the baby.  I loved it.  They put him on my belly and I just stared at him, taking him in while they did NOTHING.  It was our time.  Once it stopped pulsing they cut it and cleaned him up.  I'm 100% doing it again!

    How long does it take to stop pulsing?

    Batman likes to watch cartoons on the weekends. Whatever.
    image

    "I'll gladly take cold sores over eye herpes" -ElieFin
    "Unicorn glitter gives me UTIs." -Leila'sMommy
  • image sandy02:

    I did it!  I dont think there is a con (though for some reason I think I remember reading that if you are donating/banking cord blood you cant do this)

    Waiting to cut the cord allows all the rest of the iron and other "goodies" in the blood to transfer to the baby.  I loved it.  They put him on my belly and I just stared at him, taking him in while they did NOTHING.  It was our time.  Once it stopped pulsing they cut it and cleaned him up.  I'm 100% doing it again!

    Did an OB in a hospital agree to it?  I talked to 2 OBs so far and neither of them were familiar w/ the idea at all and actually thought it would be a bad idea....   I'm going to print some info on it to take to my next appt.

    On that note, if anyone has any links handy, I (we, I'm sure) would appreciate it.

  • I would definitely appreciate any resources on this subject! It sounds like something I would like to do, now I just have to convince my OB - he's pretty traditional, lol.
  • aly&jjaly&jj
    Third Anniversary
    member
    It also helps prevent your baby from becoming anemic because they are getting all of the blood that was meant for them. We learned about it in my Bradley class, and it just really made sense to me.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker BabyFetus Ticker Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • It only took 3-4 minutes I think, wasn't long at all, but was still a special time for us. 

    I think it helps that I use a MW, she was completely open to it.  I have an appt today, if I remember I'll ask her if she knows of any medical sites/research about it that I could link you to for your OB's.  I think it is something great for your baby, I dont know why they wouldn't do it other than they are in a hurry.

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.
  • I would do it if we weren't banking, but we are so it isn't an option.  i don't really see where there could be any cons.  It was meant for the baby to begin with so how it would hurt the baby I have no clue.
  • shakesshakes
    250 Answers 2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 100 Love Its
    member

    Im still on the fence about this. I would rather bank his cord blood but time and finances are pending here. After talking to a naturopath, my midwife, an ob and my lamaze teacher, I have been told and read time and time again that the baby generally doesn't have a strong enough liver to process all the extra blood and iron and such and it often leads to high levels of jaundice, polycythemia  and an over abundance of iron in the body.

    Once it was explained to me this way it made a lot of sense. Hospitals in Canada were doing it a lot more often about a decade ago and simultaniously saw a huge influx in babies with jaundice and other blood related issues. All of these issues do regulate themselves but the interem can be quite scary. So in the end Canadian hospitals stopped the process. I don't know if this outweighs the pro's but it's better then a "we just don't do that" explanation.

    Just something to think about. I still don't know how I feel either way and in the end I will most likely choose to delay clamping but it was an interesting way of looking at the cons. It's not always about rushing and cleaning and drs not caring.

    An awesome and reliable website with both sides of the information is here...there is a lot of misinformation an opinion based info out there and when it comes to this type of stuff we need reliable sources not just googled websites like yahoo answers and bellybelly.com

    http://www.pregnancy.org/article/delayed-or-immediate-clamping-of-cord

    image

     image

    image 

     








     

  • I have read that waiting can increase jaundice.  We are donating the cord blood so I will have to see if this is even an option for us.
  • I read part of a book called "Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering" by Sarah Buckley. She actually would sew a drawstring "placenta bag" and keep her baby attached to the placenta until the cord dried up and broke off the baby naturally. When she carried the baby around, she carried the placenta bag, too.

    That is not for me. But there is one perspective! She wanted her baby to suck all the nutrients/blood/iron from the placenta. 

    As far as jaundice, I want to learn more about that before I make a decision of when to cut the cord. 

  • I talked to my OB about it today and they said they do it, but they need to make sure it gets clamped right as it stops pulsating or else blood can start flowing in reverse.

    image

  • My midwife said she and all midwives at the hospital wait for the cord to stop pulsating before cutting it.  It ensures that baby gets plenty of RBC's and iron which is crucial for adequate oxygenation.  (In the old days docs used to actually milk the cord, but that is a bad idea, because babies end up with heart rate and blood pressure probs.)
    image

    image
  • Thank you ladies for all the great advice!! It seems the pros of waiting outweighs the cons.. I'm going to talk to my OB about it during my appt on Tuesday, that is unless I go into labor before then, lol. I hope he supports with this decision. When I told him I wanted to go natural - he point blank asked me "Why?" Aww well, he is supportive, just very no-nonsense.
  • I had this as part of my birth plan, but the nurse teaching my birthing class said they generally don't want to do it for two reasons. One, as a PP mentioned, it can cause jaundice because you're possibly giving the baby an excess of red blood cells, which are broken down faster and cause higher bilirubin levels. Two, she said the cord dries up so fast when it hits air that you're usually not jumping the gun much by clamping right away.

    However, those statements seem contradictory to me, and once again I find myself thinking "how did anyone ever deliver a healthy baby before modern American medicine?"

    We love our little guys!
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • image HRMJPC:

    I read part of a book called "Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering" by Sarah Buckley. She actually would sew a drawstring "placenta bag" and keep her baby attached to the placenta until the cord dried up and broke off the baby naturally. When she carried the baby around, she carried the placenta bag, too.

    That is not for me. But there is one perspective! She wanted her baby to suck all the nutrients/blood/iron from the placenta. 

    As far as jaundice, I want to learn more about that before I make a decision of when to cut the cord. 

    This is called louts birth, and is quite cool!

    Mom to a wonderful Free Birthed girl and boy :) Daisypath Anniversary tickers Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • My doctor will wait a little while, but not necessarily until the cord stops pulsing completely. We talked about it yesterday while reviewing my birth plan, and I'm ok with it. She's very into active management of the third stage (which I personally think it a little overly aggressive for most women, but I get her risk-aversion and she was VERY open on everything else, so I'm leaving well enough alone.)

    The do need to cut the cord to move on with the rest (delivering the placenta, etc) so many docs won't want to wait too too long, but as PPs said, waiting does allow them to get those red blood cells and stem cells that would just be going to waste.

  • image Ready2006:

    The do need to cut the cord to move on with the rest (delivering the placenta, etc) so many docs won't want to wait too too long, but as PPs said, waiting does allow them to get those red blood cells and stem cells that would just be going to waste.

    Either I'm confused by what you mean here or one of us has been misinformed.  If you are saying that the placenta won't be able to be delivered until it's cut that's clearly not true since lotus birth is possible.  I'm not trying to be inflammatory just trying to understand.
  • We are delaying cord clamping and my OB was very open to it. She doesn't promise to wait until it stops pulsing as she actively manages third stage labor to reduce risk so she won't wait too long, but I'm fine with that. If you're not banking or donating, you should definitely do it!
  • Whoops wrong board/post.
    image image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Always missing our first son Caleb, born at 19w3d on 4.12.10.
  • We banked our blood, so they did it right away.  In a csection Im not sure they will wait, either, as it is a time consuming thing to do while mom's belly is wide open.
  • Definitely WAIT to cut the cord! Don't forget baby is trying out his lungs on oxygenated air for the very first time! He still needs to gurgle out moisture so the oxygen he breathes in can get absorbed into his blood stream. If you hack off the cord, you cut off his only reliable source of oxygen, depriving his little brain of that all important gas!

    There needs to be a "transition time", where the cord shrinks and the lungs work up to 100% efficiency. This transition time is where the cord passes the job of oxygenating the baby to the lungs.

    Plus,  there is all that good stuff - iron and nutrients and stem cells that should be returned to his body :)

     Give it 5 minutes - there is no rush. 

  • Delayed cord clamping allows more blood to flow into the baby's body. The extra blood flow is particularly helpful for the baby's newly functioning lungs. Also, it has been shown to reduce the incidence of jaundice (not increase it) because there is a larger blood volume circulating which means the excessive billirubin can be "picked up" and disposed of faster, without overloading the newborn's liver.

    Unless there is a crisis that involves a high degree of intervention for your baby immediately after delivery there should be no problems with delaying cord clamping.

    Put your DH/SO in charge of watching post delivery and let the nurse attending your delivery know it is important to you to wait (the nurse can often help 'remind' the Dr). If the Dr goes to clamp the cord without waiting (Dr's are busy and notoriously forgetful) all you or your husband have to do is say "Wait, we don't want the cord clamped until it stops pulsing."

    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Sorry to "lurk" but I saw this on the bottom and thought I'd comment.  Sometimes you unfortunately can't wait.  DD had the cord wrapped around her neck and the dr wanted it off asap.  DH and I didn't even argue. 
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie Pregnancy tickers Daisypath Anniversary tickers #1-DD born June 14, 2008 at 40w4d...Our Little Bug is growing so fast! #2-HB 7w5d, Missed mc 3/30/10 at 11w3d (baby measured 8w1d) #3-DS born April 5, 2011 at 38w2d...Our Little Boy is getting so big! #4-Baby #3 is due May 26, 2014! image
  • I put it in my birth plan and my dr was on board with it. Overall my hospital was great about following my birth plan ... That said, that's one part of my birth plan that I'm not sure about whether it actually happened. Baby A came out, they laid him on my chest, DH cut the cord (not sure if they waited) but I found out later that Baby B was in a bit of distress at that point so understandably, I don't know if the dr waited till the cord stopped pulsing. He did a u/s, found out Baby B had flipped to breech, and did a breech extraction of Baby B. (The births were 7 minutes apart.) Laid Baby B on my chest right away too and I know DH cut his cord as well. I remember B didn't pink up so they whisked him away to give him some oxygen, so that may have hindered waiting till the cord stopped pulsing for him, too; I'm really not sure, it was all such a blur after a long labor and 3 hrs of pushing! But I do know that my OB was familiar with it and fine with it when we met to discuss my birth plan; I just had some extenuating circumstances. ;)
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • I asked my OB about this last week because we are planning to donate the cord blood.  She said that they typically wait 3-5 minutes before clamping and cutting, and that there will still be blood left for donation.  My OB has personally donated the blood from both of her births. 
  • this is my first pregnacy and i think that you should wait till the cord stops pulsing and cord the blood. But you also have tho think your baby's got to have to have food and if you are wanting to breastfeed then you might want to cut quick then.

     

  • The reason you want to wait to clamp and also cut the cord is that the mother's blood flow to the baby often is cut off for the time that the baby is in the birth canal.  So, when the baby is born there is a back-log of blood cells waitng to go into the baby.  If you clamp the cord immediately, as many OB's do for their own convenience, the baby is missing some of the blood volume that is naturally intended for him.  There have been many studies done on cord clamp delay.  The pro is a more robust healthy baby with higher iron levels (low iron is often a problem in babies, especially preemies). The con is the baby could be more prone to jaundice.  The pros last for months with babies who received that extra cord blood showing higher iron levels for up to 6-8 months after birth.  Jaundice can usually be treated with a little sunlight.  I waited to clamp my baby's cord and I am glad I did.  She is super healthy and did not have jaundice.  It took about 15-30 seconds for the cord to stop pulsing and get the blood to the baby, but I had a very short delivery.  Some may take longer, up to two-five minutes was average wait time in the studies.

  • First of all, Sterneli does summarize things very nicely and her response that in can cause jaundice is true. However, jaundice is not necessarily a minor problem that can be treated with "only sunlight". Jaundice is not something that should be taken lightly.  Jaundice can lead to kernicterus which is bilirubin deposits in the brain which in term leads to retardation and cerebral palsy.  Severe jaundice needs to be treated with special lights for long periods of time.  Also, delayed cord clamping can lead to too high levels of red blood cells or what is called polycythemia.  Polycythemia can then lead to breathing difficulties, low blood sugars and low blood calcium levels requiring a newborn to be admitted to an Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and have the blood "diluted" for lack of a better term. The problem is at the time of delivery, one does not know which child will benefit from the delayed cord clamping and which will be harmed by it.

    Also, it can delay resuscitation efforts in infants that need special attention after birth.  There are actual good studies that very premature males and infants with heart defects will benefit from delayed cord clamping. I hope this adds to the discussion.

  • "When a human baby is born it needs to begin breathing air into its lungs in order to survive. However, it would be a mistake to imagine that a baby?s first breath contains their body?s first experience of life-giving oxygen. Oxygen is provided for the fetus throughout the entire pregnancy by the mother, through the placenta. Following birth the placenta continues to provide oxygen for approximately 5 minutes while blood pumps, to and fro, through the umbilical cord. This is part of an ingenious plan of God?s (or nature?s) to allow the newborn time to ?unfold? his/her lungs and to gently make the switch from living underwater to breathing air through the lungs. Remember, the infant is not receiving ?placental? blood or even the mother?s blood through the umbilical cord. The baby is retrieving its own blood supply from one of its own functioning organs that just happens to be inside its mother?s body."

    "newborn anemia, respiratory distress leading to brain damage and/or death (rare, yes, but it happens), inadequate blood supply resulting in a need for transfusion, possible heart defects resulting from problems closing off the hole in the heart valves following birth. There are a few doctors now theorizing that the rise in autism is due to brain damage caused by early cord clamping."

    image snansley:
    I have read that waiting can increase jaundice.  We are donating the cord blood so I will have to see if this is even an option for us.

     

    you can still donate cord blood.

     

    You may be told that delayed clamping causes jaundice in babies by your carer or hospital. This is not true.

    Babies are no more likely to become jaundiced by delaying cord clamping and there is no relation to jaundice and the time of the cord being clamped. In the studies, the bilirubin levels were within normal range no matter when the cord was clamped. (Excess bilirubin levels are what is associated with jaundice).

    ( http://www.bellybelly.com.au/articles/birth/cord-clamping-delaying-cord-clamping )

    image KeepingItLowKey:
    I talked to my OB about it today and they said they do it, but they need to make sure it gets clamped right as it stops pulsating or else blood can start flowing in reverse.

    BAHAHAHA not true. 

    some women don't clamp the cord AT ALL and wait for it to fall off naturally.

    ugh. sounds to me like your ob just wants it his way.

     

     

     

«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards