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Thread: "Milking" the umbilical cord

  1. #1
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    Default "Milking" the umbilical cord

    Ok, I didn't even know this was a "thing" that had a name until today. I just knew that I argued with my last OB and finally got him to agree to postpone clamping, but when it came down to it, he waited maybe 2 minutes and then quickly squeezed all the cord blood into my baby and cut it. She was very jaundiced.
    But then today I called a friend to ask her experience with a new OB I saw yesterday and felt concerned about, and she told me this guy did the same thing to her baby without asking, also.

    Anyone else experience this? Its not something midwives/doulas usually recommend for an uneventful normal birth, right?

    Also, this is kind of a warning for mommas out there who want to delay cord clamping. You might want to specify if "milking" is ok with you or not, because apparently some OBs think delaying and milking are the same.

  2. #2

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    With both kids we delayed clamping the cord. For DS it was for a few minutes until it stopped pulsing. For DD it was for quite a looooonnnng period of time. DS they cut the cord while I was in the birth tub and with DD we didn't cut the cord until maybe 30+ minutes later as I was having difficulty delivering the placenta in the position that I was in. After it was cut my mw did "milk" the cord but it was to try and get as much blood out of it as possible before clamping it(or perhaps this was before it was cut - fuzzy memory). She actually "missed" some and DD's umbilical cord STUNK sooooo incredibly bad because of it. I mean you could smell it through her clothes. DH & I used to tell people it's her umbilical cord that stinks so bad before we would hand her over to be held as we didn't want people to think that we were neglecting her.


  3. #3
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    I've never heard of this. I wanted to do delayed cord clamping, but when DS was born he was so tangled up in it, they had to cut it to get him out and breathing. He was only very slightly jaundiced, didn't need the lights or anything.
    Jennifer


  4. #4
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    I thought that this was a bad thing to do?

    But, I'll have to ask my DH about my kids since I really don't know.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  5. #5

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    I've read research on milking the cord being a bad thing, but I can't recall it at the moment. I'll have to look it up again. But delayed clamping and milking are not the same thing. It sounds like he was being impatient.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  6. #6
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    If you delay *and* milk the cord it will result in the baby receiving too many already broken down rbcs and the resultant bilirubin byproduct which often results in jaundice. Delaying brings only intact rbcs and leaves any blood unable to pulse through in the cord. So baby doesn't get more than can be delivered via the natural cord pulsations. If mom is hemorrhaging or baby is distressed so that a delay in clamping isn't safe a brief milking of the cord will deliver the intact rbcs that are in the cord same as if it were allowed to pulse but it's not as efficient. The benefit of baby getting the cord blood is really not completely understood but we do know the benefits of banking cord blood for future use of stem cells so it's assumed baby benefits from delaying OR brief milking if delaying isn't a safe option.

    Eta...a cord will often still be pulsing after the placenta is delivered...no need to wait for it to stop at that point. My midwife clamps/cuts if the placenta delivers since it may result in jaundice (rbcs start breaking down when placenta detaches).
    Last edited by kellyowens; 04-05-2013 at 01:21 PM. Reason: sp
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyowens View Post
    If you delay *and* milk the cord it will result in the baby receiving too many already broken down rbcs and the resultant bilirubin byproduct which often results in jaundice. Delaying brings only intact rbcs and leaves any blood unable to pulse through in the cord. So baby doesn't get more than can be delivered via the natural cord pulsations. If mom is hemorrhaging or baby is distressed so that a delay in clamping isn't safe a brief milking of the cord will deliver the intact rbcs that are in the cord same as if it were allowed to pulse but it's not as efficient. The benefit of baby getting the cord blood is really not completely understood but we do know the benefits of banking cord blood for future use of stem cells so it's assumed baby benefits from delaying OR brief milking if delaying isn't a safe option.

    Eta...a cord will often still be pulsing after the placenta is delivered...no need to wait for it to stop at that point. My midwife clamps/cuts if the placenta delivers since it may result in jaundice (rbcs start breaking down when placenta detaches).
    Interesting...ty


  8. #8
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    Yes, thank you Kelly!

  9. #9

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    I need to look into this...don't really know much about it. I wonder what ,y midwives think? I am planning a home birth...



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyowens View Post
    If you delay *and* milk the cord it will result in the baby receiving too many already broken down rbcs and the resultant bilirubin byproduct which often results in jaundice. Delaying brings only intact rbcs and leaves any blood unable to pulse through in the cord. So baby doesn't get more than can be delivered via the natural cord pulsations. If mom is hemorrhaging or baby is distressed so that a delay in clamping isn't safe a brief milking of the cord will deliver the intact rbcs that are in the cord same as if it were allowed to pulse but it's not as efficient. The benefit of baby getting the cord blood is really not completely understood but we do know the benefits of banking cord blood for future use of stem cells so it's assumed baby benefits from delaying OR brief milking if delaying isn't a safe option.

    Eta...a cord will often still be pulsing after the placenta is delivered...no need to wait for it to stop at that point. My midwife clamps/cuts if the placenta delivers since it may result in jaundice (rbcs start breaking down when placenta detaches).
    Good information! Delaying, not delaying hadn't even crossed my mind. I'll have to talk to my midwife about this

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