Giving birth is tiring, exciting, boring, painful and amazing. When your baby first comes into the world, it can be overwhelming to watch doctors, midwives or nurses pull, grab, poke, prod and cut. One moment that many parents like to memorialize is when the umbilical cord is cut. This is often done by the father and many parents make sure to take a photograph.
Does cutting the umbilical cord hurt the baby?
The umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein surrounded by a substance called Wharton’s Jelly. Cutting the umbilical cord does not hurt the baby because the umbilical cord does not contain any nerves. Cutting through the cord is similar to cutting nails or hair; it can’t be felt.
Although cutting the cord itself doesn’t physically hurt the baby, cutting the cord too soon can impact on baby’s health because baby may miss out on up to 1/3 of its blood volume. It’s best to wait at least 2-5 minutes after birth before cutting the umbilical cord to allow this rich post birth transfusion of oxygen, iron and stem cells to be delivered to baby. Read more about delayed cord clamping.1 | 2