Friday, July 13, 2007

Rh & Clamping

*If you haven't caught on...I've been posting any research that I've found helpful in making any decisions. It leaves me ONE place to find it all later. *;o)

...4. In Rh neg women, many people believe that it is the clamping of a pulsing cord that causes the blood of the baby to transfuse into the blood stream of the mother causing sensitization problems. Robert S Mendelsohn, M.D., in his book "How to Have a Healthy Child. . . In Spite of Your Doctor" blames the whole Rh neg problem on too quick clamping of the cord. Especially in Rh neg mothers I urge midwives to wait until the placenta is out before thinking about cord clamping.

5. I think it is interesting that scientists are now discovering that umbilical cord blood is full of valuable T-cells which have cancer fighting properties. A whole industry has sprung up to have this precious blood extracted from the placenta, put in a cooler with dry ice, and taken to a special storage facility to be ready in case the child gets cancer at some time in the future. This is human insanity of the first order. That blood is designed by Nature to go into that child's body at birth, not 30 yrs later! We need to acknowledge that there are things about the newborn circulation and blood composition that we just don't know and we need to bet that Mother Nature had things figured out pretty well for us to survive this long. Maybe the supposed need for Vitamin K in the newborn comes out of early cord clamping?

In my work (800 births), I have only given Vit K to one baby (on Day 8 after having blood on the umbilicus every day < href="http://www.freestone.org/">Jeanine Parvati Baker, a midwife from Ca.,is the goddess of that method (author of Prenatal Yoga and Hygiea). *Gentlebirth.com
Only ONE Rh neg woman had cells in her blood! Only ONE! Which begs the question, "How many have you worked with?"

"Not So Fast, Doc!"The facts about early umbilical cord clamping

Why is clamping significant? Because, in the majority of medically managed births, the umbilical cord clamp violently separates a newborn infant from a portion of their vital blood supply, possibly causing damage to the brain, heart and or lungs of the child before it even takes its first breath. Many Western OBs routinely clamp the umbilical cord before the child has been fully birthed. "So what? They're doctors, they know what they're doing." According to the majority of the research they don't. Here are several reasons why you might want to tell your doctor to delay clamping the cord and some of the research available to back you up when you do.

When a human baby is born it needs to begin breathing air into its lungs in order to survive. However, it would be a mistake to imagine that a baby's first breath contains their body’s first experience of life-giving oxygen. Oxygen is provided for the fetus throughout the entire pregnancy by the mother, through the placenta. Following birth the placenta continues to provide oxygen for approximately 5 minutes while blood pumps, to and fro, through the umbilical cord. This is part of an ingenious plan of God’s (or nature’s) to allow the newborn time to "unfold" his/her lungs and to gently make the switch from living underwater to breathing air through the lungs. Remember, the infant is not receiving "placental" blood or even the mother's blood through the umbilical cord. The baby is retrieving its own blood supply from one of its own functioning organs that just happens to be inside its mother's body.

When the transfer of blood is given time to complete itself, the placenta and umbilical cord shut down, essentially dying. The blood vessels in the baby's cord close, the placenta separates from the uterine wall and is soon expelled, its function completed. With a simple cord tie and sterile cutting tools, the umbilical cord can be safely severed at this point. The baby is typically breathing well, pinked up and perhaps even nursing away contentedly in a reasonably calm mood. Of course, baby’s first surgical procedure doesn’t really need to be done immediately following birth or, even, at all. In times past when infections were more common and sterile tools were less common, our ancestors would frequently wrap the placenta in a diaper and swaddle it in with the baby until the cord dried out and the placenta fell off by itself, a few days after the birth.

But that’s probably not what happened to your baby, if s/he was born at a typical Westernized hospital. Most OBs and even CNMs are trained to clamp the cord during or immediately following birth. If you suggest the idea of waiting until the cord has stopped pulsing you will probably be confronted with at least one of two prevailing medical attitudes:

#1 ~ It's far too dangerous for me to allow the cord to pulse. You would be putting your baby at risk of : (pick one or more of the following choices) jaundice, plethora, hyperviscosity, or polycythemia. (This is the one WE heard!)

...In 1993, a study by "Kinmond et al...found no increased jaundice, plethora, hyperviscosity, or polycythemia using this method. Yet fear of late clamping persists because physicians have been conditioned to believe that these complications are caused by placental over-transfusion. Cord stripping (allowing the baby to retrieve its own blood supply) has become tantamount to malpractice."

...Mothering Magazine has this to say about jaundice. "Among other drugs, Pitocin inductions and epidurals have been conclusively linked with nonphysiological neonatal jaundice (this is not normal, breastfed jaundice). Any drug administered to mother or baby must be viewed with a 'jaundiced' eye, for it is likely to compete with bilirubin sites on blood protein, causing more bilirubin to be free to contribute to jaundice.

...In fact, it seems that the practice of early cord clamping began during the days of heavily medicated births. Doctors deliberately stopped the blood flow to keep the newborns from retaining too much of the anesthesia their mothers were under. It's enough to make me think that being able to dole out drugs to laboring women is more important to doctors than preventing the various problems related to early cord clamping in newborn babies. A rather scary modern sign of the times, I fear.

...Early cord clamping has been shown to cause: newborn anemia, respiratory distress leading to brain damage and/or death (rare, yes, but it happens), inadequate blood supply resulting in a need for transfusion, possible heart defects resulting from problems closing off the hole in the heart valves following birth. There are a few doctors now theorizing that the rise in autism is due to brain damage caused by early cord clamping. The mother may suffer an increase in the length of the 3rd stage as well as increasing her blood loss following birth when her baby’s umbilical cord is clamped early.

...Early cord clamping may also be at least partly responsible for many of the cases of blood sensitization in Rh factor negative mothers, considering the blood is clamped off with enough force to create a brief “backflow” of the infant’s blood into the mother’s placental “wound.” Dr. Robert S Mendelsohn, M.D., in his book "How to Raise a Healthy Child. . . In Spite of Your Doctor" blames the entire Rh negative issue on early clamping of the cord. (This book is high on my recommended reading list for anyone with kids)

When we interviewed our midwife, before choosing the birth center, we asked about cord cutting and its timing. She said she normally cuts the cord after it stops pulsing, but since I'm Rh, she would have to cut it immediately. Her reasoning was that somehow my blood may get into the baby's blood. The only way we could think of this happening is if the placenta detaches and is ruptured and I'm bleeding inside.

I think I'm a bit more convinced that I want the cord cut after pulsing - EVEN THOUGH I'm Rh neg.

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