Pregnancy & Birth

Wait to Cut the Cord

This is a great article about why parents should wait to cut the cord, if they can. It’s short and sweet and easy to read.

We waited to cut Penelope’s cord and it was one of the coolest things I have experienced. While I was holding my newborn daughter, staring into her eyes and basking in her glory, I was also holding her umbilical cord in between my thumb and first finger to feel the blood pulsing into her. When I stopped being able to feel it anymore, a moment later, Peter cut the cord. I am not sure how much time had passed, which reminds me to ask my midwife to see my birth record-my memory is so fuzzy about exact time of when things happened during my labor that I want to see my file. Looking back, I will probably wait even longer next time. Maybe once the placenta is out and I am out of the birth tub. Even though we waited, it all happened so fast!

Has anyone else done this? How long did you wait?

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  • Lindsey M.
    May 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    We waited to cut the cord too… but just like you i have no idea when it happened because i was in such a daze! šŸ™‚

  • Fletchymama
    May 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    We waited with Kate…I think it was about 30 minutes..placenta had already come at that point and was just in a bowl in the birth pool with us..

  • Stephanie
    May 27, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    @Lindsey…did you ever look at your file?

    @Kayla…I think that is what I want to do next time, wait till the placenta out. Our water-birth was amazing, but logistically difficult once the baby is actually out!

  • Melissa
    May 29, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    We waited until Finn was born to cut her cord. I have the coolest pictures of everything still all connected. It is beautiful.

  • Stephanie
    May 30, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    @Melissa…that is awesome! I would love to see it.

  • Stephanie
    May 30, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Oh, and did you or Layla take this picture? It
    came out great!

  • delightfulpregnancy
    May 30, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    My most recent birth ended up as a c-section…and I had specifically requested delayed cord-cutting if a c-section was necessary. My doctor was 100% supportive of this (along with other "mom-baby friendly" measures). I have pictures that my doula took and it was amazing to see the OR staff just standing there, waiting patiently for our baby to receive her cord blood. A lot of moms aren't aware that this is even an option during a c-section. It usually needs to be discussed in advance…and then it also helps to have a low-intervention OB, too!

    Even though moms desiring a low-intervention birth (or planning a home birth) don't even want to think about the possibility of c-section, I believe it's important to at least spend a small amount of time laying out their preferences, should a c-section become necessary. It's along the same mentality of a mom who's planning a home birth to think about the details if a hospital transfer becomes necessary during her labor. Better to have planned and be equipped to make informed decisions.

  • Stephanie
    May 30, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    @delightfulpregnancy…that is so wonderful that you had the wherewithal to ask for them to wait, despite having a cesarean birth (I like that word better than c-section because it puts an emphasis on the fact that you still gave birth!)and that your OB complied with your request. What a blessing!

    I totally agree, I think all moms need to spend emotional and mental time on all the different possibilities and outcomes of their births. I know that I did that and I was emotionally prepared for a cesarean birth if one was needed…but what I didn't do was mentally prepare for all the different possible POST PARTUM outcomes. I never spend a single second of mental thought on the possibility that breastfeeding would not work out for us. So now I will encourage moms to prepare mentally for anything that comes their way for birth AND post partum.

  • Stines Hjem - Livet pĆ„ landet
    June 13, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    We waited for about 10 minutes or so, because the scissor got stuck, hehe…but I've never thouth about the benefits, and never actually heard about it either, even tough I've read a lot of forums on the net and a lot of book before my boy was born. So I'm glad the scissor got stuck šŸ™‚

    Look at this:

    I totally agree with you on the preparation afther birth. I thougth that breastfeeding would cause no problems, and be "easy". But after three weeks I got mastitis, and got it two more times within 3 months. Puh!

    After months of pumping and other things to help, he is now a 16 months old boy who is breastfed morning and evening, and I'm very happy šŸ™‚

    Hug from Stine in Norway

  • Stephanie
    June 13, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    @Stine…how interesting and lucky that the scissors got stuck!

    Good for you for pumping and sticking to breastfeeding! I can't not tell you how often I dream of being able to quit pumping and just nurse her morning and evening! She comfort nurses now and I am able to nurse her to sleep, but she still has a very weak suck and can not transfer much milk. I am hoping when she is older I can communicate with her and teach that she has to suck harder if she wants more milk to come out.

    I did just drop down to three pumps a day and I am practically giddy about it!

    Oh, and I love the pictures on your blog! I wish I could read German. It is German, right? šŸ™‚

  • Stines Hjem - Livet pĆ„ landet
    June 16, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Thank you so much. Hehe, no it's norwegian šŸ™‚ You don't have google translate?? It automatically translate the language šŸ˜‰

    Three pumps a day! That's amazing that you manage that! I know a ton of people who would have quit months ago.. Hang in there:)

  • Tanashia
    August 4, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    I had a water birth in January. We did wait for the cord to stop pulsating, but I cannot recall how long it took. We got out of the pool before cutting it. The placenta came right after.

  • Jennifer Iv
    August 28, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I had a homebirth. And I don’t know/ remember how long we waited, but it was till the cord stopped pulsating and the placenta was out. Then husband cut the cord. Even though everything was a daze, I clearly remember my husbands excited face when my midwife gave him the scissors and told him where to cut.