"I always had this feeling that if the midwife had not been there, there wouldn't be this issue with the cord nor the panic over the baby not breathing. She was touching my dd's head and cord, looping it over while I was giving birth. It would not surprise me if she was the reason the cord stopped pulsing so quickly.
I think its also normal for babies to take time to start breathing regularly, a few breaths here and there (my dd gave a big yawn at one point!!) shows that the transition from placental breathing to lung breathing is obviously happening right??? So all it would have taken was some calmness and patience and respect."
Yes. I think that maybe some (many?) birth attendants have enough fear surrounding the emergence of the baby that they just cannot bear to be patient and stay out of things. For both of my midwife-attended births this was very much the case -- even with the "hands-off" midwife, who ended up doing several unnecessary things not because there was an indication that something was wrong, but because she held some fear and it was therefore more comfortable for her to act in a way that she felt was preventative. At the time I was happy to make that trade-off because it was SO much better than how my first birth had been managed. But with time I've realized more and more how instrusive and interventive her actions actually were. I sympathize -- I think it must be very hard to carry the trust that is necessary for someone to give over to you the responsibility for the life of her child. Because I love birth so much and feel a calling to be involved in helping women become aware of their innate power and rights and the benefits of doing so, I have often imagined myself in the role of midwife, to play that out to see if that was the direction I wanted to go. For various reasons I've decided that it's not, one being that I am positive that I too would find myself acting based on imagined fears and potential dangers -- the unknown -- rather than on what is known in the moment. It's easy enough to do that (the latter) for myself -- I know myself. But I think it would be a stressful thing for me to try to do that for someone else, not having any instinctive or intuitive knowledge like the birthing mother does. I would be going into it somewhat blind, and that is a scary thing to me, and I'm sure it would affect my actions.
Gee, I kind of went off on a tangent, didn't I?
I'm not positive about the answer to your questions. Although, I think that the cord will still be passing blood (and therefore oxygen) to the baby, even when it is not obviously pulsing. Anyway, I think that what was going on with the midwife feeling the need to make the baby cry and move around is that a baby who is responding strongly to a negative stimulus is a known sure thing. A baby that is still and quiet is not. I mean, there were quite a few times when my very serene newborn would be SO still and quiet that I had to put my face very close to hers to make sure she was still breathing. I really didn't know. And I imagine that in the moments after a birth, when people are talking and the light is dim, that it might be especially hard to notice. Not that I'm defending the midwife's actions! Just saying that I think the reason for them was probably other than that the baby truly needed them -- the midwife