Cutting your baby's umbilical cord (ep. 36) | Video
Childbirth Class Videos
1:10 min | 55,439 views
In many birth situations, your partner is able to cut the umbilical cord. However, if you or your baby need immediate attention due to a medical issue, it may not be possible. Learn more about how cutting the umbilical cord goes, and how to prepare for it ahead of time.
Mark Sloan M.D. teaches pediatrics and reflective writing at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency program. He is the author of Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth.
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Mark Sloan: If your partner would like to cut the cord after delivery, it's a fairly straightforward process and it's fun to do. The obstetrician or the midwife will usually clamp the cord in 2 places about an inch apart and then they'll give you these big old heavy sterile scissors to cut between the clamps, and you got to cut between the clamps or it's a big mess, but they're going to guide you through that properly. I think the comment I hear most from partners is, "Gee, it took more force than I thought to cut with those scissors," and that's because if you look at the umbilical cord, if you get a chance to hold it, it's like a very slippery, rubbery hose and it's fairly strong, so you got to kind of push in with those scissors when you cut, and there's no worry that I'm going to do it too hard, you're not going to hurt anybody, it's not going to hurt the cord that you're cutting if you have to push harder with it, but it takes a little more force than you'd think. Important thing is I think most doctors and midwives are happy to have partners cut cords, just let them know ahead of time, you'd like to do that and realize that if there's an emergency going on, you may not get the chance to cut the cord because they may have to move quickly or they may not want another body in where they're working while they're trying to do something in an emergency basis.
Last updated: December 2021
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Benirschke K. 2004. The umbilical cord. NeoReviews 5(4):e134-e141. http://neoreviews.aappublications.org/content/5/4/e134 [Accessed November 2016]
NHS. 2015. What is the umbilical cord? National Health Service UK. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/2299.aspx?categoryid=54 [Accessed November 2016]
What is labor really like? (ep. 1)
Should I choose a doctor or a midwife? (ep. 2)
Where do most women give birth? (ep. 3)
Using a doula as a labor coach (ep. 4)
5 signs that you're in labor (ep. 5)
What do contractions feel like? (ep. 6)
How to time contractions (ep. 7)
In labor? When to call the doctor or midwife (ep. 8)
What happens to my body during labor? (ep. 9)
First stage of labor: Early labor, active labor and transition (ep. 10)
Second stage of labor: Pushing and giving birth (ep. 11)
Third stage of labor: Delivery of the placenta (ep. 12)
What happens after delivery (ep. 13)
7 labor myths (ep. 14)
Can I make labor less painful? (ep. 15)
Pain medication during labor: How common is it? (ep. 16)
Natural pain relief: Walking and changing positions (ep. 18)
Natural pain relief: Massage techniques (ep. 19)
Natural pain relief: Water (ep. 20)
Medical pain relief: Systemic medications (ep. 21)
Medical pain relief: Epidural (ep. 22)
Medical pain relief: Spinal block (ep. 23)
Monitoring your baby during labor (ep. 24)
How and why labor is induced (ep. 25)
Having a c-section (ep. 26)
Episiotomy or perineal tearing (ep. 27)
Assisted delivery: Vacuum or forceps (ep. 28)
Avoiding unnecessary interventions during labor (ep. 29)
79. 5K views
Screening tests and treatments for newborns (ep. 30)
Feeding your newborn: Breast milk or formula (ep. 31)
Breastfeeding for the first time (ep. 32)
Rooming in with your newborn (ep. 33)
Banking your baby's cord blood (ep. 34)
Cutting your baby's umbilical cord (ep. 36)
Deciding whether to circumcise (ep. 37)
Consider your birth preferences (ep. 38)
Review your insurance coverage for birth and baby (ep. 39)
Tour the hospital or birth center (ep. 40)
Prepare for your trip to the hospital or birth center (ep. 41)
Things to do before you're due (ep. 42)
Jackie's birth story: Stalled labor leads to a c-section (ep. 43)
Purvi's birth story: Giving birth before the baby shower (ep. 44)
Colleen's birth story: An epidural offers major relief (ep. 45)
Melylah's birth story: Drug-free birth and a surprise daughter (ep. 46)
Leslie's birth story: Induced labor and a long recovery (ep. 47)
Breanna's birth story: Switching from natural birth to an epidural (ep. 48)
Scott's birth story: A dad's view of a c-section (ep. 49)
Shino's birth story: A big baby and a painful tear (ep. 50)
Kelly's birth story: Speedy birth in the family car (ep. 51)
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"He refused to cut the umbilical cord." Russians about partner childbirth - Snob
Loss of sexual attractiveness and a weak male psyche - these are the two main arguments that opponents of partner childbirth talk about. Women whose husbands were present at the birth and the men who held their hands told Snob how they heard the first cry of the child, what they felt at that moment and whether the birth strengthened their marriage
“Men who scream that they are in childbirth there’s nothing to do, you jerks!”
Andrey, 35 years old, Kaliningrad:
At first I was against partner childbirth, because friends and acquaintances dissuaded me, and I also read reviews on the net, they were afraid that sexual desire would disappear. But Natasha said that she would be very lonely and would like to have a close person nearby who can help, give water, rub her back. And you don’t see the birth of a person every day, plus I’m not going to take birth - why be afraid!
And then Natasha said that it was time to go to the maternity hospital. Along the way, we stopped several times, my wife got out of the car with me and danced to wait out the fight. We arrived, processed the documents, went into the ward, changed clothes, and washed. Natasha went to bed in the delivery room, I sat down next to her and began to wait. I stroked her on the back when the contractions began, gave her a drink. Natasha did not hear the doctor's instructions during childbirth, so I loudly repeated to her what to do. In the videos about childbirth, they show some kind of tin, but I didn’t see anything, I sat at the head of the bed all the time, the doctors didn’t let me go below. And then - bam! - and Vanya was born.
If the relationship with the wife is strained, there is no trust, then there is nothing to do during childbirth
I experienced the strongest emotions when I heard his first cry: this is happiness that cannot be expressed in words. Immediately after birth, he was placed on his mother's stomach. Vanya seemed to me tiny, helpless and surprisingly beautiful. After that, they wiped it off, anointed its eyes with something, weighed it, measured it, swaddled it and gave it to me. Just five minutes after being born, I was holding it in my hands! Pure happiness! The doctor asked if I would look at the placenta to make sure everything was in order. I did not immediately understand what they wanted from me, and looked. For a moment I thought it was useless. But then I realized that the placenta of an even color, without clots, is an indicator that the newborn has no diseases. Then Natasha and Vanka were taken away, and the next five days, until they were allowed into the ward, were the most boring in my life. At the same time, sympathy and emotion appeared about the pain that Natasha experienced. With them came deep respect, because in this situation the wife controlled herself and did not allow herself to curse.
Now I understand how amazing it is and how important it is for a father to be with his child from the first seconds of his life! After the birth, the relationship with Natasha became deeper and emotionally stronger, and the sexual attraction only got stronger.
Those who have not been in childbirth perceive those who have been as some kind of abnormal. I believe that only a real man will share the severity of the situation with his wife. And the men, screaming that there is nothing to do there, are really jerks, frightened by the process that is common for living beings. If the relationship with your wife is strained, there is no trust, then there is nothing to do during childbirth! Otherwise, then the men will call what they see the cause of all problems. For example, his attraction to his wife has disappeared because she has grown fat, he is afraid to say: “Wife, you are fat, you have stopped exciting me, lose weight!” And he will say that he, poor and unfortunate, cannot get the memories of childbirth out of his head.
“I am your dad, I gave birth to you too!”
Anastasia, 32 years old, Moscow:
Once, when I was pregnant, my husband came home all so inspired: “I’m going to give birth with you!” It turned out that he was impressed by a conversation with a classmate who had experience of partner childbirth.
“Great! Then go and give birth yourself!” I replied, frightened by the reviews of partner births online. Yes, and in women's consultations, they discouraged this: there will be a lot of blood, he will see all this, then he will leave you! But the closer the deadline approached, the more frightening I felt, and the idea of my husband's presence at the birth began to seem very attractive to me.
I asked my husband to go to the midwife. He went, and she told him: “She is a firstborn and will not give birth so quickly!” But my husband is two meters tall, took her by the hand and brought
We went to the maternity hospital together. The husband helped, duplicated all the breathing exercises that the midwife showed, refused to leave the birth room when the attempts began. Both the doctors and we thought that the process would be lengthy, because I was giving birth for the first time. After a couple of hours, I felt that the baby was on the way, and asked my husband to go for a midwife. He went, and she told him: “She is a firstborn and will not give birth so quickly!” But my husband, two meters tall, took her by the hand and brought her. And there is already a head appeared! The delivery was easy and fast, so we didn’t even have time to get tired or panic. The husband was the first to touch the child, until now he says to his daughter: “I touched it first, not my mother! I am your dad, I gave birth to you too!
The husband's help and presence at the birth is invaluable. He is very close to his daughter, because he saw the moment of her birth, participated in the process, and did not somehow formally receive a bag at the exit from the hospital. Now our miracle is already seven years old. My husband will also go with me for the second child, he says: “Where are you without me!”
“Birth added gray hair to my husband”
Evgenia, 29 years old, Chelyabinsk:
My husband and I didn’t discuss partner births in advance, we didn’t go to preparatory courses - but in vain, preparation is still needed. It seemed to us that there was still time to think, but life decided otherwise: the child was born a month ahead of schedule.
In the emergency room, I saw that my roommate was being supported by her husband at this difficult moment. It became insulting, and I, saddened, said to the midwife: “It’s good for her, her husband is nearby!” And she replied: “Who is stopping you?” Husband arrived an hour later. We agreed that he would stay with me during the contractions, and as soon as the attempts began, he would leave. But he stayed until the end. He held my hand and now says that he even pushed with me. He was the first to take the child in his arms.
My husband was offered to cut the umbilical cord, but he refused: he was afraid to do something wrong. Outwardly, he was very calm, but if earlier he had a slight gray hair on his temples, then after childbirth the color evened out. When it was all over, he said that he still had no place in the family.
Hand on heart, I will say that a man, only if he is not a doctor, has nothing to do there. Men are weaker
Now I, hand on heart, will say that a man, only if he is not a doctor, has nothing to do there. In men, the psyche is weaker, after what they see, they become afraid of causing pain with some of their actions. Yes, and newborn children are not at all what they are shown in films. Men expect that the children are all so clean and beautiful, they will look at them, smile and almost say “daddy”. And they are cyanotic, covered in white and covered in blood, like blind kittens. This is also a test for the psyche. The son, as soon as he appeared, immediately began to scream heart-rendingly, crap one's pants, pissed and kill the doctors, mother don't worry! The man doesn't need to see it.
When I became pregnant for the second time, my husband immediately said that he would not come with me. And I was not going to call him, although he passed everything with dignity for the first time. I decided to give birth with my mother: in front of my mother it’s not scary and not ashamed to look bad and be weak. Mom, who herself went through a difficult birth, knew what and how to say, she didn’t flirt with me, she was just there, giving her hand, stroking my head. Everything went much more smoothly.
"Partner birth was the best of the three"
Elena, 38 years old, Engels:
Photo from personal archive
We have three children. The first time I gave birth was difficult and the medical staff made a mistake: they removed the remnants of the placenta from the uterus badly, which led to severe inflammation. There was a trial, the doctor was officially reprimanded, and I was treated for a long time.
The second birth was planned not in Russia, but in Ukraine, where we moved with my husband and child for work when I was eight months old. It was a foreign country, and I asked my husband to come with me. I can’t say that he was delighted, but he quickly agreed. We were preparing for a joint birth. The doctors didn't mind at all.
Dads came mostly in the evenings and stayed overnight, but moms will understand how important this is right after giving birth
I gave birth in the new Center for Maternal and Child Health in Donetsk. All paid wards were designed for mom, dad and child. This is a standard box for two rooms with one bathroom and all the conditions for a family stay. Of course, dads came mostly in the evenings and stayed overnight, but moms will understand how important this is right after the birth.
Childbirth was simple, healthy, quick and joyful: without a single injection or other intervention. My husband was there all the time, tried to massage, to regret. But in the last moments it hurt, I got angry, it seemed to me that he was doing everything wrong. I thank him for his tremendous support and peace of mind. Parents should be together at this moment. The husband is proud of this experience.
Umbilical cord separation. Dogs and their breeding [Dog breeding]
Department of the umbilical cord
If the bitch has not bitten the umbilical cord, it can be easily broken. The umbilical cord has an area where it is weakened and often breaks itself in this place. The best case is when the umbilical cord is long enough and does not break during the birth of the puppy, and the placenta comes out with or immediately after the puppy. In this case, you should first help the bitch to release the puppy from the membranes and wipe it from the mucus, only after that you can deal with the umbilical cord. The puppy should not be allowed to crawl, dragging the placenta along the umbilical cord, as an umbilical hernia may occur. In general, you should constantly monitor during whelping that the umbilical cord in a newborn puppy is not stretched, especially in jerks - this will lead to the appearance of a hernia. If the umbilical cord is too short and the puppy is just able to get out of the loop, it can be left on the umbilical cord for a few minutes. You just need to make sure that it does not stretch. In this position, the bitch will not be able to handle the puppy without damaging it, so everything will have to be done by the host. If the puppy was born with a placenta, but the umbilical cord is short, you should also not allow the bitch to gnaw through it, because she can bite the puppy.
Before separating the umbilical cord, carefully “milk” the blood in it towards the puppy. This will be his last internal nourishment from his mother. Do not cut the umbilical cord - this usually causes a little bleeding, which weakens the puppy. If, after the birth of the puppy, the placenta is still in the birth canal, then, after squeezing the blood, clamp the part of the umbilical cord at the very loop of the bitch with medical surgical forceps. In this way, you can keep the placenta so that after the rupture of the umbilical cord it does not go back into the uterus. Now grab the umbilical cord with your thumb and forefinger at a distance of 2-3 cm from the puppy's stomach, and with the index and thumb of the other hand even further from the puppy's tummy, about 2-3 cm. Keep the hand farthest from the puppy completely still. With the hand closest to the puppy, pull the umbilical cord towards puppy and it will immediately burst. In this case, the blood vessels stretch and narrow, there will be no bleeding and there will be no need to tie the umbilical cord. There is also no need to use any antiseptic and, of course, is by no means iodine!
If the umbilical cord is very strong, it can be partially cut and then torn. The incision must be made, of course, with sterile scissors, which have been boiled for at least five minutes. Many dog owners choose to cut the umbilical cord, but this causes bleeding and it takes a few seconds to hold the tip of the severed umbilical cord tightly between your fingers to stop it. When the clamp does not help, you have to tie the umbilical cord - this must be done with sterile catgut or surgical silk thread. If the umbilical cord is separated correctly, there will never be a need for ligation.
If the puppy comes out without a shell, if he is covered in blood or green liquid, it is very important to free his nose and mouth from this so that he can start breathing on his own as soon as possible.
Most bitches whelp at intervals of 15-30 minutes. Sometimes 4-6 puppies will be born one after the other, and then if the litter is large, there may be a break of 1-2 hours before the next batch of puppies arrive.