Updated: Sep 26, 2019
A. What happens if the baby is born with the cord around his/her neck? This is a non-issue. Babies breathe through the umbilical cord while inside the womb. Babies take their first breath once born. In the case of a water birth, once baby is lifted out of the water. Midwives will not unwrap the umbilical cord from around the neck of the baby until fully born. Two reasons for this, 1. The cord can spasm and 2. The cord can separate from the baby if removed too early. .
B. When will my waters break? Waters can break before contractions start, after or not at all and baby can be delivered still in the sac. .
C. How will I know when to push? It’s instinctive just like a sneeze or having to go to the toilet. Trust your body and your instinct. .
D. Will my baby instinctively know how to feed? Baby will wriggle (breast crawl) to find the boob or milk. It will bob his/her head when it finds the boob and latch on.
E. Cutting the cord? As much as possible, try and delay cutting the cord. If we cut and clamp too early, we are preventing the baby getting up to a 1/3 of its blood volume. Babies do a very good job of replacing it but can be found to be anaemic later on. The cord will start out purple in colour. It will become smaller and smaller and whiter in colour once the blood has passed through to baby and it stops pulsating.
F. What is jaundice? When the baby is inside it has fetal hemoglobin. Baby has an oxygen saturation level of about 60%, therefore baby is a blue/purple colour inside. When the baby is born, the bone marrow starts to make hemoglobin A, the adult hemoglobin which the baby needs throughout life as an oxygen breather rather than receiving oxygen via a blood supply i.e. the placenta. The baby starts to break down the fetal hemoglobin and you can see the waste product bilirubin under the sun which can make the baby look yellow. This is perfectly normal. Approximately 80% of babies have jaundice. Delayed cord clamping can reduce jaundice.