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cord cutting during an emergency

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I caught just the end of a TV birth -- "One Born Every Minute"    There was a shoulder dystocia and dr. said if baby is ok, they'd let the cord pulse for one minute, but if baby was distressed it would be cut immediately.  I'm no professional, but I don't get that logic.  Isn't the cord a lifeline to a baby in trouble?  Do they not have whatever equipment they need to revive a baby in the birthing room?   That actually seems kind of irresponsible, if it were to be the case.    I remember reading in Ina May Gaskin's books that the all-fours position almost always resolved a dystocia.  So I did a bit of research and was disappointed to see that it's the last listed in standard protocol, even though the source I read said it was over 80% effective while the first on the list was 25%.  Cord was cut quickly, baby cried after vigorous rubbing.


I'm definately disappointed in standard maternity care.  Another episode followed which I watched till the end.  It was full of inductions and augmentations in seemingly normal pregnancies followed by epidurals.  Everyone was lying on their back.  Women were hungry and not allowed to eat.  This show is filmed at a nearby hospital, so these women could be my neighbors.  I'm really thankful for the great midwife practice I go to.


So it's turned into a bit of a vent, but my question is what is the reason for the cord having to be cut immediately.  Is there really a medical reason that it's better?  And if not, why is it done?

post #2 of 4
No, there is no medical reason to cut the cord of a baby in distress, but the resuscitation equipment is not at the bedside, so the baby must be taken to it, hence the cord cutting. And yes, leaving the cord intact would help supply the baby with essential oxygen-rich blood, but that's not the way the hospital is set up.
post #3 of 4

i cant fathom the logic. i had a birth with SD at home. my mw could resuscitate just fine with the cord intact. the cord being intact was the reason those moments where he was completely unresponsive weren't scary to me, and by extension, the birth was not traumatic. it really pisses me off thinking about immediate cord cutting in babies who aren't doing well. the bag and mask thing they use to give oxygen isn't THAT fancy and works just as well on mom's belly or between her legs as it does on a warmer. and I bet my ds1 would have been compromised long term if his cord had been cut. His body was WHITE! warning, picture could be triggering http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae186/lilstar7224/?action=view&current=secondsold.jpg seriously, cutting off that baby's blood supply is anemia waiting to happen. 


that pic really does need a contrasting one to show that he really did perk up perfectly. this was less than an hour old (30 min? idk) after he'd had his first meal http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae186/lilstar7224/?action=view&current=DSC02310.jpg

post #4 of 4

The reason cited for cutting the cord during resuscitative efforts is because it's very difficult to intubate on mom's tummy. You have different schools of thought about this, of course, but that's the reason you will see. You can bag mask on mom's tummy, you can even do chest compressions on mom's tummy (I've never seen it done, but I suppose theoretically it could happen), but trying to intubate anywhere other than a flat surface is very dangerous.

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