The Umbilical Dilemma: Cutting the Cord

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March 11, 2016 by The Best Dad Blog

ScissorsBelly buttons are magical.

We all have them, but we don’t generally think, on a regular basis, about WHY we have them. And if you do, umm, ick.

Our belly buttons were our conduits to nutrients in utero. Not to be confused with In Utero. [Click the link to look it up, kids.] Basically, the umbilical cord connected us to placentas, which are so nutritious, some parents actually eat it. I’ll take a pass, but suit yourself. Chop off the cord, you get a belly button.

 

Here’s the crazy part:

Doctors and scientists still don’t know when you should separate baby from the placenta by clamping or cutting the cord. We’ve been at this birthing babies thing for a little bit of time, but this is still somehow up in the air.

A recent study showed something interesting: if babies are attached to the placenta via umbilical cord longer, it may provide cognitive benefits years down the road.

Over-simplifying: waiting a few minutes to cut can make your kid healthier and smarter.

On the other hand, babies can be deprived of oxygen during delivery and clamping the cord can apparently help doctors diagnose if that’s the case.

With our third kid arriving soon, we are discussing the talking points we’re going to share with the doctors and nurses in the delivery room. This study definitely gives us food for thought. Still not going to eat a placenta, though.

[Image via CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12418]

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