Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Gloria Lemay’ Category

The idea that the umbilical cord should not be cut immediately after the birth but left to pulsate giving the baby extra blood, oxygen and stem cells is not a new idea to myself or many of my colleagues.  I have long believed that the baby should remain “attached” via the umbilical cord to his/her mother and my usual practice is to await “delivery” of the placenta before asking the mother or father to cut the umbilical cord.  I believe that early cord clamping interferes with the normal physiology of birth.

Recently Dr David Hutchon, a retired consultant obstetrician from Darlington, wrote in the British Medical Journal that maternity staff should wait for several minutes before cutting the cord and has also called for further research into leaving the cord intact.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) still advocates active management, which includes early clamping and cutting off the cord. These guidelines mean that doctors and midwives are sometimes reluctant to change their practice.  This is despite the fact that both the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics advise doctors to refrain from early cord clamping.

In summary, it is definitely worth thinking about whether you would prefer your baby’s umbilical cord to be left to pulsate and indeed possibly left intact until you have delivered your placenta.

Midwife Gloria Lemay also comments on this issue on her website.

Hand expressing is recommended by UNICEF/Baby Friendly Initiative as the best way to express breastmilk.

“All mothers whose babies cannot breastfeed or take full feeds from the breast should be taught how to express their milk by hand and by pump. Expression of breastmilk should be encouraged at least 6-8 times in 24 hours, including at night. Emphasis should be on frequent expressing and the avoidance of long intervals between expressions.”

Gloria Lemay has gathered some useful resources:$20expression$20$20Final$204.09.pdf