This letter/article/whatever is not going to be in perfect grammar, perfect form, or whatever. It is going to come from the heart.
Ladies, listen up. Gentleman too. Tell your friends, husbands, wives, mothers, daughters, sons, everyone. Please leave the umbilical cord attached after your baby is born. Even if it is only for 10 minutes. Let it pump and pulse, let it give your baby more nutrients, more blood, and a steady oxygen supply.
My sister didn’t breathe her first seven minutes of life, and as a result has Cerebral Palsy. It can vary in degree. Hers was awful. She spent 21 years in a wheelchair, with little to no muscle control. She doesn’t speak, eat by mouth, or use the toilet. Her intellectual level was placed anywhere from infancy to seven years of age. Her motor skills at a 3 month old level.
My sister is dying. She was very healthy; as such things go, up until January. Her bones were that of a 70 year old woman. Her femur snapped while the school was changing her diaper, and that led to a pressure ulcer, which led to infection; It went on and on. She spent 7 weeks in the hospital. Then she kept going back. She went in this morning with breathing problems, and has pneumonia.
If her umbilical cord was left in tact, I might have had a normal sister.
I am not saying I definitely would have, but I personally firmly believe it. She would have had an oxygen source until the doctors could get her breathing. Instead, I had a vegetable for a sister.
My first son’s umbilical cord was cut straight away. I had pneumonia, and we had both almost died in my 8th month of pregnancy. He was born happy & healthy, and I must say, as much as I hate doctors & their ways, they saved us. I got very, very lucky. My second son’s cord we left in tact for maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but in that time, I gave him something my first never had. I gave him more blood to stave off infant’s anemia, I gave him oxygen (he was a water birth), and I gave him a little more immunity for those first few months before his own system kicked in. His umbilical cord was a bit short, so we didn’t leave it longer.
I am sure there are a million other things that leaving that umbilical cord attached for even 10 minutes gives your baby, things that haven’t even been discovered yet. Even if you have a typical hospital birth, and bottle feed, this is an easy thing to give. Just let your OB know you want to wait to cut the cord.
I haven’t ventured into pregnancy posts in years. At least ten, I’m sure. I wrote this one in July 2003. An incredibly funny post I read earlier today (I can’t find a link, but it was about natural childbirth and it made a comment about leaving the cord attached until toddlerhood) made me rethink about it, and since it’s been removed from my blog, I’ve decided to re-share it. Apparently I’m still very passionate about this, even though I am ten years outside of my last baby. This is the original, unedited content. This blog post To Cut or Not To Cut was originally posted on Modified Motherhood.
Jenn has been described as “the archetype of the next generation matriarch” – whatever that means. She resides in not-so-sunny south Florida. With her children working on being nearly grown, she dreams about living in a tiny house visiting every North American Punky. Jenn runs the technical aspect of Punky Moms. Whenever there is a tech problem, she fixes it. She is the great and powerful Oz.
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