To cut or not to cut? That's the question new moms are asking their healthcare providers. Even more specifically, these moms want to know the right time to cut their baby's umbilical cord. There is what is called Delayed Cord Cutting or DCC. Some people are pegging this as another holistic fad.
In all reality, this isn't actually a fad at all. This was customary until a few decades ago when for some unknown reason, doctors got scissor happy. Cords started to be cut moments after babies were born.
This premature snipping kept up for a few more decades until recently midwives, OB/GYNs, and other healthcare providers started to stand up for DCC. Upon further research, the quick cord snipping doctors of yore are not seen as doing anyone any good but themselves.
The more research that is completed, the more benefits are being unveiled. Delaying cutting your baby's cord is not difficult, but it can be an inconvenience for some. For instance, the doctor delivering a baby might want to rush it along. The nurses and specialists whisking the little one away to care for him/her might find it hard to take mom along for the ride, but we get the picture.
There are many scenarios that could play out in the delivery room. Most of the time, DCC isn't too tall a glass to order, but it is if parents don't really know or understand it. If mom and dad want to delay the cutting then delay it, by all means. As the mom, that's her right. Some mothers didn't exactly get what they wanted in the delivery room while others figured out what they wanted after the fact. Here are 15 women who regret cutting the cord too soon.
15 "I Wanted Them To Leave Me And My Baby Alone"
Davina and baby Adelaide - "I'm from a very vocal family, and this proved to be useful in the delivery room. When I delivered my first daughter, Adelaide, the doctor was in a huge hurry to do everything. It was even hard to concentrate during contractions towards the end just because of how he was acting.
I was super upset and angry at how rushed I felt. I did my best to keep a steady pace and stay calm, but in the end I just blew up.
When he reached to clamp and cut the cord, I went crazy on him. It had only been 1 minute and I demanded at least 2 minutes of cord-time. He ungraciously complied and I think he ended up cutting it after another 30 seconds. Just thinking about it, ticks me off still."
14 "The Doctor Didn't Take My Request Seriously"
Lora Lynn and baby Piper - "My birth story isn't the greatest. At least not for Piper. She was my first, so I wasn't as educated and experienced as I was with my other two babies. I just remember my OB not really listening to me when I told her about my birth plan.
I know birth plans can be just a fantasy sometimes as you never know what the delivery room will serve up for you. But, still...
In the actual delivery room, my nurses were great and they listened. All of them said that the cord cutting was up to the doctor, though. So when the time came, they were right. She took charge and cut the cord after about 30 seconds. I asked her to wait, and she said that it didn't matter and cut it anyway.
We switched doctors, and my other two births were much better. We practiced DCC and the doctors were respectful and supported my wishes. I'm really sad that Piper didn't have the same opportunity with her cord as the other two."
13 "I Just Didn't Know Enough"
Tracy and baby Lynne - "Thankfully, I gave birth to a healthy 7 lbs. 4 oz. baby girl. Except for some jaundice, we really didn't have any significant medical problems with Lynne.
I'll admit that I was in my early twenties when I had her. Looking back, I could have educated myself a little more than I did. Now, I read all these amazing things that delayed cord cutting will do for your baby.
At the time, I just didn't even know that it might make such a huge difference. I think we got really lucky in that Lynne has been so healthy. I still regret not letting her have all those good things that delayed cord cutting could have offered her, though."
12 "My Baby Suffered From Lower Iron Deficiency"
Tania and baby Stefani - "I was always low on iron, so I always kept a watchful eye out for the symptoms in my own kids. I think little Stefani suffered the worst from it. She always seemed a little more sluggish than my other babies had been. Her fingernails and toenails were very brittle, too.
This is a sign of low iron levels along with the sluggishness. Even though I breastfed as much as I could, she still took formula from time to time. It was just my work schedule that made the breastfeeding more difficult.
She just progressed slower than the others, and didn't seem to have energy. The only thing the doctors said to me was that she was low on iron. I read about delayed cord cutting, and how it will increase the iron levels in newborns. In watching Stefani struggle with her energy, I kick myself for not demanding that when she was born."
11 "I Didn't Realize My Baby Needed More Blood"
Jodi & baby Chance - "This may seem superficial to some people, but it's reality for me. I gave birth to a nice big fat 10 lbs. 7 oz. baby. He was the cutest thing, but had rolls like a Shar-Pei. So adorable!
Anyway, I didn't even realize that I had a choice when to cut the cord. I made no special request, so the doctor cut it right away. He did it so soon after birth that there was still blood pulsing inside.
It was more of a dark color, because you could see the blood. He must have clamped it poorly, because when it was cut, blood squirted everywhere. It was super gross. I just don't handle blood very well, and that was no exception!
Later I read that blood volume varies by up to 40% depending on the time you cut the cord. Now, I'm bummed that I didn't wait to cut it until all the blood had been transferred to Chase. Plus, the grossing out thing of course."
10 "I Wanted A Healthier Birth Weight For My Baby"
Brittany and baby Hayden - "Hayden was a little on the light side of the weight spectrum for my kids. He was my first, but he was significantly lower than the rest. I hadn't really questioned it much until I heard about delayed cord cutting.
Obviously if the blood from the cord has transfused into a baby then thr baby will weigh more. The more blood the more mass. It just makes sense, right?
Well, there is some wisdom in the old wives tales of hoping for fat baby because that means a healthy one. It's not necessarily actual fat on your baby that makes this true, it's the blood mass. By letting the blood get to where it's supposed to be - in your baby - you're giving him that much more of a healthy start. I wish I'd done my research before Hayden was born."
9 "I Would Have Used DDC To Lower The Risk Of Intraventricular Hemorrhaging"
Dawn and baby Devon - "It's a nasty thing to see your baby go through that. Devon was premature and was in NICU shortly after I gave birth to him. He suffered from Intraventricular Hemorrhage. It's bleeding from the ventricles of your brain.
Apparently, it's more common in preemies, but that didn't make it any better. Delaying cutting the cord reduces this risk by a huge number (59%). I'm not sure how much of difference it would have made, but knowing that number, it probably would have been significant.
I'm thankful Devon ended up being okay. He's a healthy little boy now. I still look back and wish I would have delayed cutting the cord, though. I just know it would have made a difference. Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking about it too much, because I'll start to feel guilty."
8 "It Could Have Supplemented Those First Few Breaths"
Trisha and baby Alexis - "Alexis had somewhat of a tough time taking those first few breaths. She struggled just enough for me to be concerned. I could see her laboring to use those little lungs. The doctor wasn't too awful concerned, because Alexis was very strong (and stubborn).
Now, I regret not fighting to have her umbilical cord cut after it had stopped pulsing. Blood is rich in oxygen, and what a help it would have been to her tiny body to have had that much more oxygen in it.
I'm not sure if she still would have struggled like she did, but at least the oxygen in her body from the cord blood would have supplemented the oxygen she was attempting to breath in."
7 "I Wanted My Baby To Have An Increased Levels Of Stem Cells"
Katie and baby Andrew - "Andrew has had a poor immune system all his life. He especially struggles with upper respiratory infections and junk like that. Poor guy. It seems like he's always fighting something.
After reading about all the new research on stem cells, I wish I would have known that when he was born. According to the research, stem cells play a huge roll in the development of immune, respiratory, and things like that.
I often wonder if Andrew would have been healthier had I not let the doctor cut the cord directly after his birth. He was a C-section baby, but I know several other moms who've given birth to C-section babies and they were able to delay cutting the cord"
6 "My Baby Would Have Had Fewer Transfusions"
Trina and baby Patrick - "Patrick dealt with a few problems when he was born. In addition to being anemic, he had low blood pressure. Because of all the issues, and the extensive procedures that had to be done, he ended up having a blood transfusion.
We were on the right track, according to our birth plan, but he declined so fast after birth that delaying the cutting of the cord was no longer an option. I think it was like 25 seconds before that cord was gone.
I know we didn't have much of a choice in his situation, but I regret it being cut so quick. I really wish that it could have finished its own transfusion, honestly. You know, placenta to baby. It was still dark with blood when they cut it, so I know there was more blood that could have aided Patrick."
5 "Late-Onset Sepsis Would Have Been Reduced"
Georianna and baby Tatianna - "I remember how dark Tatianna's umbilical cord looked. Not on the surface, but like underneath. It was like a huge blood vein. I guess that's really all it is anyway. Being sort of out of it when all this was happening - exhaustion can make you loopy - I didn't say anything at the time.
I just kept wondering where all that extra blood was going that was left in the cord. I mean it was coursing through there very strong.
Tatianna developed late-onset sepsis when she was 4 days old, so that really stunk. I'm not sure how it happened but I know it's environmentally caused. I heard on a TV show the other day about how delayed cord cutting reduces the risk of this by nearly 30%. I wonder if all those thoughts I was having about the cord was nature's way of wanting me to slow it all down. I wish I had now knowing the statistics."
4 "I Feel Like Cutting The Cord Earlier May Delay Cognitive Development"
Vicky and baby Demetrius - "Demetrius is four years old now, and he has cognitive development issues. This will probably haunt him for the rest of his life, and I often wonder if it could have been avoided.
When I gave birth to him, I really didn't think much of cutting the cord. Honestly, it just never crossed my mind that there were different ways of doing this. I even saw an article the other day where a family didn't even cut it. They just brought home the placenta in a sack next to the baby. In think they called it a Lotus Birth.
Anyway, I had no idea about all this. Now I know that studies have proven the risk of having problems like Demetrius' are lowered when the cord cutting is delayed. Makes me want to go back and be like that family with the placenta sack!"
3 "There Would Have Been More Oxygen For My Babies"
Brianna and baby twins Ryan and Christopher - "My sweet twin boys were actually strong little boogers. They did there number on my belly with stretch marks and such, but it was worth it to see such healthy babies, especially being twins and all.
One thing I remember is that everyone was concerned for them and ready for there to be a problem. I can understand that. I mean male babies are usually a little weaker than the females, and they were twins, so there were factors with which to be concerned.
They cut the cord on both babies quickly after giving birth to each. I wish they could have waited a little longer for both of them just to give them that much more blood. With blood comes more oxygen, and I would have liked to have given them that. Thankfully, they were strong and didn't need much extra medical attention, but I still think about the benefits that were denied them."
2 "I Now Know It Affects The Learning Capacity Of Toddlers"
Janette and baby Michael - "When I was pregnant with Michael, I read all the right books, watched all the right videos, and had a great pregnancy. He's a good kid, but as a toddler, he often struggles with learning new things. I'm not sure why that is, but I wonder if it has anything to do with his birth.
Labor and delivery were really hard on me. It took a very long time, and in the end I was exhausted and stressed. I had a wonderful natural birth, but oh my gosh was it tough!
We had a scare right after the doctor delivered him, and so they took him over to another table. Of course, in order to do this his cord had to be cut right away. I didn't mind at the moment, because I'd rather have them attend to his medical needs rather than let him stuffer by me just because I wanted DCC.
Sometimes I think that maybe his difficulties can be traced back to the delivery room.
1 "My Doctor Was In A Hurry"
Ruth Anne and baby Kenneth - "I can't really say anything too bad about my labor and delivery. My only complaint was that my doctor was overworked at that particular time. In the room right beside me, another one of his patients was basically racing with me to give birth.
I ended up winning the race, but she was only a few minutes behind me. Her pregnancy was high risk too, so once Kenneth was out, my doctor cut the cord and booked it over to help her.
I sort of wish a nurse could have been assigned to me at that point because I would have liked to delay a few things, the cord cutting being one of those things. That's really the only complaint I had about it. My doctor was so apologetic for the whole situation, too."