All you need to know about the umbilical cord
The following are the top 5 questions and answers dads have about umbilical cords:
1. What happens when the umbilical cord gets wrapped around the baby’s neck during birth?
Having the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s head, neck or limbs is not uncommon during pregnancy or birth. Sometimes these conditions are detected during regular check ups and your midwife or health care professional decides what to do about the situation. Drastic interventions are rare if the baby’s vitals are fine – medical staff might suggest exercises to encourage the baby to shift position.
During labor the baby’s stress levels are constantly monitored and if there is sign of fetal distress the medical team or midwife will investigate further. The main concern about the umbilical cord is blood flow and oxygen supply. If the blood flow in the umbilical cord is reduced as a result of a physical obstruction (such as having the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck) it can lead to reduced oxygen supply which can become a serious problem for the baby.
If you’re doing a hospital birth and you made it to the hospital before labor starts you’ve got nothing to worry about. The medical team is well aware of any risks around umbilical cords and fetal distress, and will deal with any potential risks as and when required. If you have to travel long distance to the hospital you may want to attend an infant CPR course prior to birth. There was a case recently in the news where a dad performed CPR on his newborn baby as the baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. He saved her life! (read the full story). These cases are rare but it makes sense to learn about the risks and attend birth preparation classes (and CPR classes) anyway – so you’ve got nothing to lose by attending a class … even if it’s just to put your mind (or more likely your partner’s mind) at rest.
2. How can I cut the umbilical cord?
Easy – man up and do it. When it comes to cutting the umbilical cord we are firmly in “man territory” and it’s such a privilege for brand new dads to perform this amazing task. You might have to speak to your midwife or health care professional before birth to indicate your desire to cut the cord and it helps to remind them during birth (just in case they forget as things can be a bit hectic). When the moment arrives, the cord gets clamped and you will be handed some surgical scissors (no don’t bring any tools from home – they won’t allow them in). IMPORTANT: apply some proper elbow grease when you make the cut … that gnarly cord is amazingly sturdy! So put your back in to it when you make the cut (the baby can’t feel your cut as there are no nerves on the cord … so relax you cannot jurt your baby when cutting the cord).
Where can I buy the umbilical cord iPhone charger?
3. The umbilical cord on our baby smells a lot – is that normal?
Yes – our favorite topic … smells and babies! Unfortunately what is left of the umbilical cord on your baby’s tummy tends to be quite smelly. It’s essentially rotting and drying away so nature can’t do that without a bit of smell escaping from the process. But the smell is completely normal and nothing to worry about. The only thing that would cause you to worry about the umbilical cord on your newborn is if there is an infection (if the whole area around the navel turns red and your newborn is running a fever). The good news is that the smell will only last for a few days anyway – after that the cord will fall off and your baby’s tummy will smell like roses. In the meantime best to just leave the cord alone, ignore the smell and focus on your baby’s beautiful face!
4. How can I clean the umbilical cord?
In a word – don’t. Just leave it alone. Clean around it but don’t try to clean the cord itself (or what’s left of it). The cord will fall off after a few days anyway. If you are keen to clean things focus on the other end of your baby …
5. When and how does the umbilical cord fall off?
It varies but most frequently people report that it takes 6 to 10 days after birth. If your kid still has it by the time they go to school … go and see a doctor!
OK about that iPhone umbilical cord charger then … we don’t think you can buy it … it was created by a Japanese artist called Mio I-Zawa. But here’s a video to enjoy … check it out!