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Cord-cutting is a sacred act

Updated: Apr 27, 2019

Are you brave to cut the umbilical cord? You will be asked to do the honour at the delivery.

Pregnancy Singapore: Cord-cutting is a sacred act

Cutting the cord by daddy is a modern trend. This sacred task makes them feel involved in the delivery process. It is also his first responsibility as a new father.

Many fathers love the honour of cutting the umbilical cord for their beloved babies and I strongly encourage this sacred act. Armed with digital cameras, fathers are the proud photographer of the most precious moments of the newborn. Birth and delivery is miraculous. Both of you must enjoy this emotional experience together!

What is the cord?

The umbilical cord is about 3 cm thick and very long. It connects the baby to the placenta and transfers nutrients, oxygen and blood in utero. The midwife will attach clamps to the cord, so that you can make the cut. You’ll be guided by your doctor where to snip. Don't worry! This process does not hurt the baby. The umbilical cord is usually cut immediately before delivery of the placenta.

Delayed cord clamping (DCC)

Some doctors advocate DCC of 1-2 minutes, more blood (40%) would be transferred from the placenta to baby. This boosts the baby’s blood count, protect against anaemia, and transfer more stem cells. These benefits can last for at least six months. Parents who opt for cord blood banking will have to forego DCC so that sufficient stem cells are collected.

What happens to the umbilical stump?

Your baby will have a short umbilical stump on his or her belly. In 2 weeks, it will shrivel and drop, leaving a small scar that becomes the belly button. It is essential to keep the stump clean using warm water and cloth and keep dry afterward. Protect the stump by folding down the front of diapers to prevent chafing.

Once the stump falls off, it will take another week for the belly button to heal. Look out for infection and see a paeds doctor if the stump is swollen, red, smelly or oozing.

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