Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to UC: Cutting the Cord

This was like my 6th take and I was forgetting what I had talked about and what I hadn't yet. Sorry that it got cut off at the end there! Also, I think the sound got off at some point. And I need to speak up. And the quality isn't 100% because it was large and I had to compress it.

The fact that the video is almost 10 minutes long might make it seem like it's a really detailed process. It's not. I just talk too much.
  • Wait until the cord is no longer pulsing.
  • Just clamp in 2 places and cut in the middle. That's all there is. Really.
  • In a few days the stump left behind will turn dark and shrivel up and eventually fall off on its own.
  • We treated the resulting wound with drops of breastmilk and it healed very well without any infections.
  • You can't pick if your child gets an "innie" or an "outie." It's all in how it heals on its own. For what it's worth, Margaret has an "innie."
  • For the placenta, you just lay it out on the smooth (baby's) side so that the bumpy side (mother's side) is facing up. You just squish the placenta together to make sure all the bits line up with each other. If there's a piece missing, you'll see it. This is important knowledge for hemorrhage and excessive postpartum bleeding.
  • If you decide to take a piece of placenta to eat, take it from the mother's side- and also note that piece will be missing when you squish the placenta together. I would probably wait until the placenta is inspected before taking a piece.


"Not So Fast, Doc!" from Empowered Childbirth
Vintage Delayed cord clamping: 1963 obstetrics article from Time
Placenta images. I actually had McKay look at pictures of placentas before Margaret was born so he knew what he would be looking at. Just google it. You'll find some good ones.

I've read that because delayed cord clamping means more blood gets to the baby (I've read up to 30% more blood!), then the child is more likely to get jaundice. On the other hand, they are less likely to be anemic. Margaret did get the regular jaundice that most babies get around 5 days postpartum. She turned yellow and everything- but the bottoms of her feet were never yellow and it was gone after a few days of nursing and getting some sunlight.

Slightly yellow Margaret:


  1. When I was reading up on UC, I was wondering how to this!

    I honestly cannot understand why delayed clamping is not valued in the medical world. It's the only way for the baby to get enough oxygen until it is breathing well on its own. My son was not breathing well when he was born, and they immediately cut the cord so they could work on clearing his lungs, but I don't understand why they couldn't do that with him attached to me.

    Anyway, sorry, tangent there...

  2. It's interesting that you say that babies who have delayed cord clamping are more likely to have jaundice, since my CS baby, whos cord I assume was cut pdq had jaundice, and yet my freebirthed baby whos cord wasn't cut for at least 2 hours didn't show any signs of jaundice at all. Weird, because I'd read the same thing too!!


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