Precious blood…

small_593377710“The exchange of blood between the placenta and the baby during the third stage of labour is now better understood. While the caliber of the two umbilical arteries decreases very quickly, the umbilical vein remains open so that the uterine contractions preparing for the separation of the placenta push about 40ml of blood toward the fetus. For many reasons this blood is precious, particularly because it contains stem cells. In the current scientific context, it is not justified to routinely interfere with the physiological processes by cutting the cord during the third stage of labour.” Michel Odent (2013).

Odent M (2013).  Cord cutting in the framework of neonatal beliefs and rituals.  Midwifery Today 108: 13-15.

If you’d like to know more about cord blood and the birth of the placenta, you might enjoy the book I co-authored with Nadine Edwards: Birthing Your Placenta.

photo credit: Little Hands via photopin (license)