If your baby is still safely in your stomach, he or she is connected to the placenta via the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord includes 2 arteries and a common vein and has a length of 50 to 60 centimeters. The umbilical cord also contains important stem cells. From the placenta the umbilical cord transports nutrients, blood, oxygen and antibodies to your baby. When your baby is born, the umbilical cord and the placenta are no longer needed. But that does not apply to the first minutes just after birth! Therefore leave the do not cut umbilical cord directly after delivery, because then your little baby will miss a lot of important substances!
Do not cut the umbilical cord directly
Before your baby is born, 30% of your baby's blood is in the placenta. During birth, some blood is squeezed out of your baby's body because he or she has to pass through a narrow passage. As soon as the little one has been brought into the world, this blood flows back to your baby via the umbilical cord. This way your baby gets more iron and oxygen. But this is only possible if the umbilical cord is not cut prematurely.
In some hospitals this is done too quickly, sometimes after 10 to 60 seconds. That is very a shame because there are nutrients, extra blood, oxygen and antibodies in the umbilical cord that your baby is missing. The moment your baby is born, there is still an exchange of substances from the placenta to your baby. This exchange takes place as long as the heartbeat of the baby is still felt in the umbilical cord.
Whipping out the umbilical cord
In order for your baby to benefit from the last blood, nutrients, oxygen, stem cells and antibodies that are still in the umbilical cord, the umbilical cord must have the chance to knock out. This takes about 3 to 4 minutes, but you can feel better. As long as the heart rate of your child is still felt in the umbilical cord, it must remain intact. Do not directly cut the advantages of the umbilical cord:
- There is still some oxygen-rich blood flowing to your baby with more red blood corpuscles and iron. This can prevent anemia.
- Especially prematurenjes benefit greatly from the extra blood. They probably need blood transfusions less often.
- Your child gets some extra antibodies inside so your baby is more resistant to diseases and infections.
- Your child gets some extra stem cells. Stem cells are very important for health.
Argument against knocking out obsolete
One argument is known that is against the whipping of the umbilical cord. But that argument is out of date and not applicable. The argument is that the whipping of the umbilical cord causes the baby to see yellow. This would be because the baby gets a lot of extra red blood cells. There is no scientific theory that underpins this argument.
It is good for the baby that he or she gets extra red blood cells because they provide a larger oxygen supply. Your baby can also regulate this extra blood fine, so there can never be too much blood to your baby.
In addition to the advantages described here about not cutting directly the umbilical cord, there is another consideration that you can make: The storage of the umbilical cord. When storing the umbilical cord your baby has a life-long advantage instead of just after birth!
Record your wishes during delivery in a birth plan
Now that you have read this, you probably also want the obstetrician or nurse not to cut the umbilical cord directly. But if you've just given birth to your baby, that might be something you forget to report. Do not worry, you can clearly indicate this in advance to your midwife.
Another very good way to clarify your wish is to describe this in your birth plan. A birth plan is a document in which you describe all your wishes for during the birth. The plan is not mandatory, but in this case it is very useful to have it. Read here how to draw up a birth plan.