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Thread: When to clamp the umbilical cord?

  1. #1

    When to clamp the umbilical cord?

    Hi everyone,

    At one of my sessions with my lovely doula she asked me what my preference was about when to have the baby's umbilical cord clamped. To be honest, it's not something I had given much thought to before. With my first-born we just went with when the midwives said to clamp it.

    However, on my doula's advice I have now been reading more about the effect of timing on umbilical cord clamping. It seems there are a number of studies which show increased health benefits for the baby if the cord is clamped after it stops pulsing. This is because it is still delivering important blood, stem cells and oxygen to the baby. Some studies have found this reduces the risk of respiratory diseases and anaemia.

    So, I am interested to find out if other mums on here have waited for the cord to stop pulsing before it was cut. Also, how long did this take?

    Best wishes,


  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    With my first midwife, she did not wait until the cord had stopped pulsing, and I didn't know any different. That was with my first 3 children. With my 2nd midwife, she waited until the cord stopped pulsing for my last 2 babies.

    Baby #4 took about 20 minutes to stop pulsing, and baby #5 took about 30 minutes to stop pulsing. With both of them, I just relaxed in the warm water with my new baby on my chest and greatly enjoyed the fact that contractions were over.

    With the last baby, I could feel the cord pulsing when I would touch it, so when the midwife would ask if the cord had stopped pulsing yet, I could tell her myself.

    If I were to advise a mum about whether to wait to cut the cord or not, I would encourage them to wait until the cord had stopped pulsing. Also, if bub doesn't breathe on their own right away, you don't have to be concerned because the cord is still delivering oxygen as long as it's pulsing.

    I know there are arguments against delayed cord clamping and cutting, but none of my babies had jaundice and I just have to wonder what God originally intended for the birth process. Can't imagine that a mum would have been concerned about cutting the cord so early. In fact maybe she wouldn't have thought about cutting it until after the placenta had been birthed... and, in fact, there are people who practice lotus birth where the umbilical cord is never cut in order for the baby to stay attached to the placenta until the umbilical cord naturally separates itself from the umbilicus at 3 to 10 days of age.

  3. #3
    Hi Kate,

    Thank you - I have now made the decision to wait until the cord stops pulsing before it is cut.

    The video on Lotus Birth is fascinating, even though it's not something I think I want to do (but you never know in the future....!). I think it's especially good how a Lotus Birth helps to ensure mum and baby have lots of time together in the first week for skin-to-skin contact and to focus on breastfeeding.

    Many thanks,


  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I agree - I like the way a Lotus Birth makes it so that mom and baby have lots of bonding time which facilitates a good breastfeeding start and also ensures that mom gets plenty of rest which helps with healing.

    I would not have done a Lotus Birth simply because I didn't have the support from others (i.e. others caring for me and baby) and I had other children to care for. So I really needed the convenience of cutting the umbilical cord in order to be able to care for my family properly.

    Warm Regards,


  5. #5
    Yes you would certainly need the right care and support for a Lotus Birth.

    It's great to be aware of all the options so that a mum can make the right decision for her and her baby.

    Thanks again,


  6. #6
    I am currently about 35 weeks pregnant and very eager to do a lotus birth, circumstances permitting. My husband however, while supportive and open, finds the whole thing a little bizarre so I'm really wanting to hear from others who've gone through this type of birth and hear about your experiences particularly in that first week after birth before the umbilical cord drops off. I think my husband is concerned that it could be cumbersome to juggle both our newborn and the placenta, and worried that this could therefore impede upon our bonding time as a threesome. He also has some practical questions such as what type of a belly button will our son have without the cord having been cut and tied? Any illumination that families who've been through this type of birth could offer would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance

  7. #7
    Hi rachini,

    What an exciting time for you. I have not had a lotus birth but I wonder if you and your husband may find some of these lotus birth stories helpful?

    Warm wishes,

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