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Cutting cord before baby is even out?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for birth videos for my childbirth classes, and stumbled on one on YouTube that showed the doctor cutting the cord before the baby was even completely out of the birth canal. Can anyone tell me why someone might do this? The video is here:


post #2 of 9

once in a while there is a nuchal cord SO TIGHT that the baby will not slip through it---I find "delivering through" a cord way more preferable to pulling it over the head---I have seen avulsions with this little deed.  I had one baby last week with double nuchal cords---VERY tight!!   I cut and baby had to be resuscitated but got Apgars of 4 and 9 and is doing fine --but you can see the "strangulation" marks on the neck still!

post #3 of 9
The way I've always seen it done with tight nuchal cords at home is the somersault maneuver, where the head is moved toward the mother's thigh on the side the baby is facing and the body is delivered in a "somersault", so that the head stays stationary while the body is delivered. Obdoc, have you ever used that technique?
post #4 of 9

Boy, does that bring me back to my days as a nurse in the hospital!  As a home birth midwife now, I rarely cut the cord--it is seen as something almost sacred.  Why would someone cut the cord before the baby is born, like it is depicted in this video?  You can see that it is not a tight cord, so the supposition that it's to take care of a tight nuchal cord doesn't really fit what I see in the video.  I guess it is out of habit.  Another guess is this is how he was trained and he never learned better.  But, my experience in the hospital tells me it's so he can at least have something to do other than just watch this woman give birth (even if what he is doing doesn't help or may be harmful).  There was a saying I heard in midwifery school--the opposite of the well-known saying...and it goes, "Don't just do something,  stand there!" 

post #5 of 9

ick, I couldn't even finish watching. The paternalistic way he keeps saying, "Hold your legs....hold your legs" enfuriates me.

post #6 of 9

Most babies will deliver with what  could be called somersault --but there are some that won't--doesn't happen often--so don't need to cut unless it does happen--but at that point I am more concerned about crush injury to the neck than having a holistic experience no matter what the cost.


Usually will lay baby on tummy--skin to skin--, and wait for cord to stop pulsating--then have partner cut cord.

post #7 of 9
I think cutting the cord quickly is an important tool to have, just like an episiotomy is an important tool in select circumstances. Certainly not a routine intervention, though.
post #8 of 9

Cutting the cord before the baby is fully out can be very dangerous if the baby's shoulders  get stuck! Sometimes shoulder dystocia can last 5 plus minutes and if the baby is getting no oxygen because the cord was cut it can lead to brain damage and even death. I know of cases where this has happened...

post #9 of 9

Spirit, doesn't the cord already have so much pressure on it that it's not oxygenating the baby properly in that case anyway? 

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