Birth Plan Detail

Rare Medical Text Says When to Cut the Cord

Jul 06, 2022

It’s easy to not think much about cutting the umbilical cord and let the doctor handle it. However, if you read the research on the process, you might think differently.

As early as 1796, the medical text called Zoonomia written by Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus, a physician, stated that if the cord is cut too soon, it’s injurious to the child. He went on to say that it should be left until the child breathes repeatedly and all pulsation in the cord stops. If you don’t, the child will be weaker because the blood from the cord should have been in the child.

Let’s look at some of the statements in that old and rare medical text and find the truth in them.

  1. The cord should be left until the child breathes on its own repeatedly. The cord is connected to the placenta, which provides the oxygen to the baby. This is how the baby can survive inside the womb without breathing. However, once the baby has been delivered, he has to start breathing. Those first few breaths may not be enough to oxygenate his whole body; thus the extra oxygen provided to the baby via the cord assists in the transition.
  2. All pulsation in the cord stops. The pulsation of the blood in the umbilical cord stops on its own when the baby has been delivered and all the blood in it is given to the baby. There’s no need to try to stop it; it happens automatically.
  3. The cord has blood the child needs. The cord blood stays in the placenta if the cord is cut immediately after birth. However, if you wait two to three minutes after a vaginal birth, the baby gets another 1/3 cup of the extra blood, which increases his total blood volume by up to 50%. 
  4. Cutting the cord too soon injures the child. One of the initial problems of the newborn is iron deficiency anemia. Anemia in developing human brains ends up interfering with cognitive function and IQ, motor development and behavior. 

Read more on this topic here:

           When did cord cutting right after birth start?