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Hilary's Desk

Wait to clamp umbilical cord, study says

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hurrah, a doctor finally sees the blindingly obvious! In a study entitled “Wait to clamp umbilical cord, study says” Paul R. Sanberg from South Florida College of Medicine, is the first person I know of, who has finally published what I’ve been saying for years. Which equates to “Don't clamp the newborn’s umbilical cord!” His reason is that cord blood gives the baby its first infusion of stem cells which could help regenerate any underdeveloped organs.  And do a whole heap of other things too.  I’m glad he said that. But here’s my problem. Why didn’t all these medical people who have called cord blood “medical waste” and set up cord banks specifically to save those stem cells, see that? Isn’t it somewhat blindingly obvious? My first published article on delaying cord clamping was in the New Zealand Home Birth Magazine which was then reproduced in the New Zealand Association of Midwives Newsletter. An American magazine called “Mothering” published it in 1986. 24 years ago. My second “rant” on this topic was last year, as part of a talk.

Paul R. Sanberg is absolutely correct. Cord blood is the baby’s first infusion of stem cells. But guess what? A mother who breastfeeds, gives her baby infusions of multiple types of stem cells with every breast feed! And guess what I think about that? I believe that’s why I rarely see the sorts of serious encephalopathic damage from vaccines in exclusively breastfeed babies, that I see in babies who are token breastfed or formula fed.

There are two things in a baby’s new world which are absolutely priceless. Placental/cord blood and breast milk. Here’s hoping that doctors will finally grasp these issues with both hands.

The key to this though, is that obstetricians need to get on board. Immediate cord clamping is not only routine, but obstetricians fail to see that shoulder dystocia or a knot in the cord should NOT result in cord cutting! Both situations essentially involve a cord which is “self cut” but in both situations, once the baby is got out, the knot, or pressured cord, can be opened up, with late transfusion successfully completed.

The bigger problem though, is the medical profession’s routine use of syntocinon in normal deliveries, once the baby’s shoulders come out. You can’t let syntocinon get through the placenta to the baby, because it will cause havoc, so the cord HAS to be clamped immediately where syntocinon is used. And that blood can’t be transfused later either (not that many obstetricians consider transfusing blood from the cord to a baby perhaps suffering hypovolemic shock!).  So because most obstetricians have in inbuilt refusal to believe that the labour process can work correctly if left to do so, most babies are deprived of what I’ve always believed is a baby’s basic birthright.

Maybe such callous disregard for God’s inherent design for a baby will stop being “medically abused”. I’d love to be confident on this, but that “Tui” part of me says, “Yeah right!”.

Until such time as everyone in the established medical profession, across the board, remove their collective heads from the sand parents would be wise to continue to birth with midwives whose standard practice is to leave the cord until it’s hard, white and non-pulsing, before clamping it.  When you think about it, a clamp or scissors are totally unnecessary.  After all, which other mammal gives birth with a parent or attendant waving either clamps or scissors?  How does that dolphin in the sea manage?  Do they have an attendant DOC worker to clamp and cut the cord for them?  However, a clamp and scissors do make the job easier.

If you have a really good obstetrician who has seen the blindingly obvious before, and who have applied it to their practice already, great. But just remember that one day of sunshine ( – one sensible doctor – )  does not … a summer make.

“Buyer beware!”

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