Delayed clamping of cord - how long 'till stops pulsing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-07-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

Any experienced Mamas out there who delayed clamping of the umbilical cord with their previous baby(ies)?  I'm curious as to how long it took for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing. 

 

This is my 2nd baby and I didn't know about the possibility of delaying the clamping/cutting first time around.  I plan on requesting this as part of my birth plan this time, and am curious as to how long it takes before the pulsing stops.

 

THANKS!

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#2 of 13 Old 05-07-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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I don't recall it taking too long- maybe an extra 30 seconds to 1 minute? I could be wrong, you know, since your concept of time gets skewed in those moments.  Its obviously before delivering the placenta.  But then, I guess that time could vary for everybody.


 
 
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#3 of 13 Old 05-07-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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This is another thing that depends on the baby.  It can take up to 45 minutes.  As far as I know, you almost want to wait until after the placenta is born.   I did delay with both kids, but I don't remember how long it was with #1 (I had been awake for 48 hours and everything was a blur).  However, with #2 we waited about 20 minutes.  Her cord was short and it was pulling on me in an uncomfortable way so I asked my midwives to cut it.   Anyway, it's good policy to leave it attached for a decent amount of time after the baby is born. 


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#4 of 13 Old 05-07-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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I would just specify that you would like to delay clamping until the cord stops pulsating (it turns white as well).  It could be fairly quick or a little longer.  Your care providers should know what to look for and any amount of time you can delay it, the better, so if for some reason it needs to be cut sooner the baby has still benefited from even a short delay.  If you want to bank cord blood, however, you cannot delay clamping.


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#5 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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The delayed clamping is all fine and dandy if a cord doesnt present itself around the neck. I wanted delayed clamping with my daughter but the cord was around her neck twice and they cut it when her head was born. Just sayin.....

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#6 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Were you in a hospital?  My midwives will just let a baby be born with the cord around the neck and then fix it when they can.  I think this totally depends on your care-provider and their policies.
 

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Originally Posted by IwannaB anRN View Post

The delayed clamping is all fine and dandy if a cord doesnt present itself around the neck. I wanted delayed clamping with my daughter but the cord was around her neck twice and they cut it when her head was born. Just sayin.....



 


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#7 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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What a coincidence, just a few days ago I came across articles relating to these 2 topics, and I think they have really good information.

 

On nuchal cords: http://midwifethinking.com/2010/07/29/nuchal-cords/  My daughter was also born at home with the cord around her neck, and the midwife did not cut it in order for her to be born the rest of the way.  Nuchal cords are very common and in general, not an emergency at all.  This midwife says, the less management, the better. Which just as a general birth philosophy makes sense to me. 

 

edited to add: I will say that even though my CNM waited a couple of minutes and told me that the cord had stopped pulsing, I feel that she cut it too soon and caused issues for both me and the baby. I was in a pool, and it can be hard to tell if there is too much blood in the water.  I had my daughter on my chest when the midwife cut the cord without asking, and then told me she needed me to get out to assess me. 

 

In hindsight, I believe this was exactly the wrong thing to do- I should have gotten out with the cord intact and be allowed to birth the placenta before clamping.  My uterus then did have trouble contracting down, since it was full of a placenta that still had baby's blood in it.  I had pitocin and uterine "massage" (HA! worse than labor!) to get it out.  Meanwhile my baby, who'd been cut off from part of her oxygen supply by the clamping, was now experiencing a little respiratory difficulty.  They suctioned her & stuck a tube down her nose, made her nose bleed, and this caused issues with breastfeeding for at least a week.  It was a whole cascade of interventions I did not expect at my homebirth.

 

So I firmly believe the placenta should be out before the cord is cut.  I did it this way in my next two births, both UCs, and I did not experience the hemorrhage, not did the babies have any trouble establishing their breathing.

 

On cord blood collection, but there is stuff about why to delay clamping: http://midwifethinking.com/2011/02/10/cord-blood-collection-confessions-of-a-vampire-midwife/

 

 

 


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#8 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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Oh, this is some more great reading about avoiding premature cord clamping: http://midwifethinking.com/2010/08/26/the-placenta-essential-resuscitation-equipment/  smile.gif


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#9 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post

Were you in a hospital?  My midwives will just let a baby be born with the cord around the neck and then fix it when they can.  I think this totally depends on your care-provider and their policies.
 



 



That's very interesting. I honestly didn't think it was done any other way if it was cutting off circulation. That's what happened with my daughter.

 

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#10 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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The link I posted to the article by a midwife explains how the cord is actually really well designed to be able to wrap around the neck without compromising the blood supply and oxygen in most cases.  I guess nature is very clever that way, since wrapping is so common!  The cord is rubbery, and protected by the coiling and the Wharton's jelly.  So unless it's wrapped around the body in such a way as to prevent descent, providers shouldn't panic and try to overmanage it.


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#11 of 13 Old 05-08-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I've heard of extreme, rare, emergency instances where it is necessary to cut the cord in order for the baby to emerge all the way. But definitely not ALL nuchal cords (which occurs somewhere around 1 in 4 births) Sometimes it can be unwrapped after the head emerges. Sometimes if its really tight, they might have the baby "somersault" out. Weird to visualize, but they support the baby's head in its current position, and then the rest of the body tumbles out without the head moving any further from the vagina. 


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#12 of 13 Old 05-09-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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On a more positive note, my midwife was more than happy to do this for us.  I don't remember how long it took to stop pulsing, but she told me to feel it when there was still blood flowing, then showed me how soft it had gone when the pulsing stopped.  I was glad to have made this choice.  And BTW, this was in the UK with a standard national health midwife.

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#13 of 13 Old 05-09-2011, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses!  I look forward to reading the articles posted.

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