1:10 min| 48,964 views
In some birth settings, your partner can cut the umbilical cord. Here's what to expect if you choose this option.
Mark Sloan M.D. teaches pediatrics and reflective writing at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency program. He is the author of Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth.
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Mark Sloan: If your partner would like to cut the cord after delivery, it's a fairly straightforward process and it's fun to do. The obstetrician or the midwife will usually clamp the cord in 2 places about an inch apart and then they'll give you these big old heavy sterile scissors to cut between the clamps, and you got to cut between the clamps or it's a big mess, but they're going to guide you through that properly. I think the comment I hear most from partners is, "Gee, it took more force than I thought to cut with those scissors," and that's because if you look at the umbilical cord, if you get a chance to hold it, it's like a very slippery, rubbery hose and it's fairly strong, so you got to kind of push in with those scissors when you cut, and there's no worry that I'm going to do it too hard, you're not going to hurt anybody, it's not going to hurt the cord that you're cutting if you have to push harder with it, but it takes a little more force than you'd think. Important thing is I think most doctors and midwives are happy to have partners cut cords, just let them know ahead of time, you'd like to do that and realize that if there's an emergency going on, you may not get the chance to cut the cord because they may have to move quickly or they may not want another body in where they're working while they're trying to do something in an emergency basis.