I think I want to ask for a delay in cutting the cord. I am not sure where to find information on this that is credible and clear - is anyone else asking for a delay in cutting the cord? What is your reason? How long are you delaying?
My midwifery practice does delayed cord clamping. With ds my MW delayed as long as possible but not long enough ds need his airway cleared. Ideally you want to wait until the cord has completely stopped pulsing and the placenta has been delivered. Usually this will take about 15-20 minutes. There should be no rush to cut the cord. Make sure they do not try to milk the cord. This can do the opposite of what you are trying to prevent. Delayed cord clamping reduces newborn jaundice and milking can cause juandice.
If you are looking for specific references read
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper
or The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth By Sheila Kitzinger
Originally Posted by MichelleAnnette
The cord should not be cut until it stops pulsating. The baby is still getting blood and oxygen. Cutting the cord after it stops pulsating is standard procedure among homebirth midwives.
I suppose I should confirm this with my HB MW just to be sure.
If you're birthing in hospital, do not ask for delayed cutting. Ask for delayed clamping. I've heard several birth stories where moms ask for delayed cutting, but the cord has still been clamped early, which negates the entire purpose. I would actually specify that the cord not be clamped until the placenta delivers (since some doctors believe "delayed" means 60 seconds), and that the cord not be handled, milked or otherwise manipulated until then (since that can also interfere with blood transfer).
Roughly half the baby's blood volume is in the placenta at the time of birth. By clamping it before the placenta has a chance to equalize, the doctors are actually causing many health problems you see in neonates, from jaundice to anemia, including the inability to regulate temperature and difficulty breathing (2 things that can land baby in the NICU).
I want to share something I had to learn the hard way. Kind of a public service announcement I guess, lol.
It was a priority for us that DS's cord be left alone until it had finished pulsing, and we discussed this very early on with our main midwife. However, at my 37-ish week appointment, we met with a new midwife who offered me the option of having a shot of oxytocin in my thigh as the baby was delivered to help with delivery of the placenta. Naively, I agreed, she had me a bit scared about PP hemorrhage (with no real basis for it...) Anyway, nobody told us that by agreeing to the shot, we were also agreeing to have the cord clamped and cut immediately after birth. Apparently they have to do this when the mother has recieved the shot. I was soooooo PO'd!! If I had known, I would never have agreed to the shot. I still can't believe noone discussed it with me!
Anyway, ladies, make sure that you make it clear with your care provider that nothing else you have decided upon will interfere with delayed clamping/cutting.
Yes, with our last we did nothing with the cord for a long time. I mean, honestly. I delivered it, and my MW's wrapped it up in a chux and it just kind of hung out in bed with DS and me until I felt like giving him up. It was probably like, an hour.
Part of it for me was that I didn't want anyone messing with me or baby until I was ready, and the other part is like pp's said, there is so much blood and oxygen in that cord/placenta. Its really important to let it all get into baby!