Thank you for spreading the word!
With my 1st child 11 years ago I just went with what the midwives advised, immediate cord clamping and injection to speed up the afterbirth process. 3 years ago with my 2nd I felt much more confident. I asked that the cord not be clamped until non pulsating and white, no interventions, no injections. It was a wonderful, calm and empowering birth. I was so pleased my midwives supported and agreed with my choice. I'm looking forward to doing it again in 2 months time! I cannot believe that immediate clamping is still regularly carried out without the mother knowing the alternative. I was very surprised afterwards to learn that many of my friends had never heard of delayed clamping and the benefits, so thank you Amanda for spreading the word. You have my full support.
I first read about delayed cord clamping when I stumbled upon a paragraph advising AGAINST it in an online article providing insight into Gestational Diabetes. It was my first pregnancy, I hadn't heard of GD before so I was reading up online for advice. Seeing this, I decided to look into DCC myself to make a more informed decision.
Although women online who had been through GD pregnancies and had adverse effects to delayed cord clamping - mostly babies developing severe jaundice in the hours after birth, I still decided that all the benefits of delayed cord clamping outweighed the risks.
I wrote it in my birth notes, and luckily I had great midwives who checked my notes and followed along with my wishes as much as they possibly could. My son made a very memorable, dramatic entrance into the world at 1 minute past 1 in the morning on the 4th of March 2014 - and my life changed forever.
He was placed straight onto my chest and he lay staring up at me out of huge eyes, taking it all in. Although the room was buzzing with midwives, doctors and other bodies I was stuck in a bubble with this little baby on my skin, my partner by my side - as if we were the only people in the world.
The midwives kept checking his cord, then decided that it was time for Dad to cut it. The cord had drained completely white and was no longer pulsating - by baby had gotten all of HIS blood into his body, all of his stem cells and all of his white blood cells. This is really the BEST start in life for him!
He did develop jaundice, but not enough to need any form of treatment other than sunlight and plenty of milk! He is now 5 and a half, and has had no issues surrounding iron deficiency or anaemia. He's a very happy and healthy boy who is rarely ever unwell. I do believe 'Waiting for White' is a huge contributing factor to his great health.
I went on to have a daughter in August of 2018. On my way down to the labour suite, I told my midwife my wishes of delayed cord clamping again to which she replied "Don't worry, this is now standard practise in Scotland!" I am amazed that this has now been taken onboard in hospitals around my country & I'm very happy to know all of these little babies are benefitting hugely from this.
Unfortunately, my daughter was having difficulty breathing as soon as she was born so after only a short minute or less on my chest her cord was immediately clamped, cut and she was whisked off to stabilise her breathing. It was strange being handed back a clean baby in a nappy! But we still had amazing skin-on-skin bonding time after this.
The afterbirth was a struggle to remove, I don't even remember much about it with my son I think they told me to give a little push and it came out no problems at all. With my daughter, I had to have injections that kept my contractions going, I had to push quite a lot and the midwife was doing a lot of pulling and wiggling of the cord to try and remove it. It was a lengthy process and it was painful. Definitely a very bad side effect of the immediate cord clamping for the Mother's side of the experience!
My daughter also went on to develop jaundice, with her bilirubin levels higher than that of my son. Proving for myself, personally, that delayed cord clamping seemingly didn't make my Child's jaundice levels any worse at all. I would definitely recommend expectant mothers to do their research on 'Waiting for White' and make an informed, educated decision and NOT to completely rule it out if you are experiencing Gestational Diabetes. I also want to thank the NHS in Scotland for taking on such a beneficial practice and congratulate them for providing the best start to newborn babies lives.