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Monday, 11 February 2013

Tying and cutting the cord

For those who do not want a lotus birth (more of that on a later post maybe), what to do with the cord?  A plastic clamp?  A sterilised piece of string or plaited embroidery thread?  I much prefer the latter, the cord seems to dry out better.  Of course, the ties may become loose during that process and at this stage may need to be replaced (or not).  Clamps used to be cut off after 2 or 3 days but the clamp-cutters, at that point re-usable, were thought (probably rightly) to be an infection-risk.  Disposable clamp-cutters are available but are costly and unecological. This means that once a plastic clamp is on the cord, it can rarely be removed whilst the cord remains attached (4 to 10 days).

Cutting - scissors or knife or razor blade?  All should be sterilised as well as possible, usually by sterilisation tablets, baking or boiling, depending on what is being sterilised - see  for useful discussion of the various methods.

Of course NHS midwives are supplied with sterile supplies and independent midwives also have their own supplies, also usually sterile pre-packed.   Animal suppliers also sell sterilised plastic cord clamps in small amounts.  These can be ordered via the Internet.  Paramedics have fantastic little birth packs which also contain a plastic clamp and sterile scissors (disposable).

If the cord is left until after the birth of the placenta, it is thin, its vessels have collapsed, and it is easier to cut through.  To those who haven't cut a cord before, it can occasionally feel quite hard to cut through.  Definite and determined cutting will always succeed.

I am quite sure that thinner cords would stay tied if simply knotted.  But I have never done this.  Has anyone?

Update 8.1.14 - here is a link to a lovely You Tube photo-montage showing cord-tying following a ?freebirth:

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