One of the most exciting moments of childbirth involves the umbilical cord. Symbol of nutrition and unity, it directly links the mother and baby and plays a crucial role in the development of the fetus. Even during and after childbirth, did you know? Clamping is the famous clamp given on the cord, before cutting it. Research shows that interrupting this blood flow too soon, just after birth, can be harmful to the baby.
Understand below what is clamping and why it can be harmful if not done at the right time.
What is the function of the umbilical cord?
The umbilical cord connects the baby through the abdomen (our famous belly button) to the placenta. The placenta, in turn, is linked to the mother by the uterus.
It has very important functions like transporting oxygen and nutrients for the baby. Normally, it consists of two arteries and a vein. But, in some cases, it may have only one artery and one vein, without posing risks to the pregnancy.
What is cord clamping
Clamping is the famous “clamp” that cuts off blood flow before the umbilical cord is completely broken. In cases of natural childbirth, cutting the cord may wait until the spontaneous delivery of the placenta. While in a caesarean delivery, the recommended time is around three minutes.
What is spontaneous placental delivery?
Discharge is considered to be the last stage of normal birth. In it, the uterus contracts and expels the placenta from the woman’s body. The process can take about 30 minutes or more, and must be accompanied by a doctor because manual extraction may be necessary.
Usually, the process is not painful and is usually spontaneous. But, a massage in the bottom of the uterus or, as we said, manual extraction may be necessary. If the puerperal woman has not taken anesthesia during childbirth, to do the manual extraction it is recommended to take it, because the process can be uncomfortable.
In the case of spontaneous delivery, the cutting of the umbilical cord can be delayed until the placenta is completely expelled by the mother.
What are the risks of early clamping?
Clamping done during the baby’s first thirty seconds is considered early. A study released by The Journal of Pedriatrics points out that the cord continues to supply oxygenated blood, rich in stem cells, while the baby establishes breathing. The research recommends that doctors wait up to 5 minutes to clamp the cord. Among the benefits are increased stocks of iron and cerebral myelin (important in the transfer of messages through nerve cells in the brain), decreased rates of intraventricular hemorrhage and necrotizing enterocolitis in premature babies.
Are there any contraindications for late clamping?
Yes! If the pregnant woman has gestational diabetes or specific blood changes, the late clamping of the umbilical cord should be reevaluated. The same happens with premature births, each case must be evaluated – some may even benefit from the late cut!
THEsome myths and truths about the umbilical cord
Circular around the neck: the fear is that the cord will lead, during normal birth, to the hanging of the baby. However, the condition is common, and about a third of babies find their cord wrapped around their neck near the end of their pregnancy. If the cord does not unwind by itself, it can be easily unwound by the doctor during delivery. Right after the baby’s head passes through the vagina.
Cord blood stored in a private bank can be used to treat other family members: yes, blood can help treat family members. But, not all! It will depend on the compatibility of the stem cells of the umbilical cord. Brothers, sisters and biological parents have a 25% chance of having full or partial compatibility.
There are few reasons for storing cord blood: myth! Cord blood has benefits such as little exposure to viruses and chemicals. And, it can be accessed more easily than a donor’s stem cells. Depending on the disease and the severity of each case, cord blood may be a better option.
Care of the newborn’s umbilical cord
Did you know that the baby does not feel pain in the healing of the umbilicus, where the umbilical cord was? So you can clean the area without fear. During the bath it is normal for the region to get wet. Soon after, take care in drying! Cloth or cotton diapers are good options.
It is essential to leave the area very dry, to avoid complications in healing. Also remember to lift the umbilical stump and wash the entire area around the navel.