By Emily Holdaway
Before falling pregnant, delayed cord clamping, or just cord clamping of any kind, wasn’t something I was familiar with, or all that interested in. What I knew of birth was the script followed on pretty much every TV show. Fast onset of labour, waters breaking on cue, lots of stomach gripping, screaming and exclamations of ‘The baby is coming!’. Being told when and how to push, a quick efficient cutting of the cord, and we’re done.
No wonder when I went into labour with Ziggy I had no bloody idea I was in labour.
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But as part of my preparation for birth, I started reading up about topics that before now had never much held my interest. One of these, was ‘cord blood banking’. A process where the blood left in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta was collected and stored. In case your baby or child fell seriously ill and the stem cells it contained were one day needed.
It sounded cutting edge. It was advertised as life-changing, life-saving. So I looked into it further. Two things stood out to me. One, it was expensive. Over $3,000, not including the yearly storage fee. And two, there was an alternative. Another option for the ‘leftover’ blood. One that was free and offered its own set of benefits to baby. Delayed cord clamping.
Delayed cord clamping? Why would you delay clamping and cutting the cord?