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What is Early Cord Clamping?

Early cord clamping was routine in the 1960s, as it was believed that clamping the cord immediately after baby was born reduced the likelihood of postpartum maternal hemorrhage. Although no evidence supports this theory, this continues to be the practice in many hospitals today; ACOG reports that cords are routinely clamped within 15-20 seconds after birth. However, the practice of delayed cord clamping continues to grow as the benefits are realized.

Why Delay Cord Clamping?

You may hear different things regarding how long to delay cord clamping. The World Health Organization suggests waiting around 3 minutes: “the optimal time to clamp the umbilical cord for all infants regardless of gestational age or fetal weight is when the circulation in the cord has ceased, and the cord is flat and pulseless (approximately 3 minutes or more after birth).” The Royal College of Midwives suggests waiting 3-5 minutes, as transfusion continues during this time. One important thing to note is that the position of baby: “delaying the clamping of the cord for 5 minutes if the newborn is placed skin-to-skin or 2 minutes with the newborn at or below the level of the introitus ensures the greatest benefit.” (American College of Nurse-Midwives)

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Interestingly enough, delayed cord clamping is not a new idea! In 1801, Charles Darwin’s grandfather wrote, “Another thing very injurious to the child is the tying and cutting of the navel string too soon, which should always be left till the child has not only repeatedly breathed but till all pulsation in the cord ceases. As otherwise the child is much weaker than it ought to be, a part of the blood being left in the placenta which ought to have been in the child and at the same time the placenta does not so naturally collapse, and withdraw itself from the sides of the uterus, and is not therefore removed with so much safety and certainty.” Erasmus Darwin, 1801

 

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At our most recent home, water birth, we waited until after the delivery of the placenta before even clamping the cord. By this time, it had been 37 minutes after birth. (If you’re curious about how long your delay was, and you had birth photography, you can look at the time stamp between images!)

 

What about the Risks of Delayed Cord Clamping?

Back Flow Bleeding?
The possibility of the blood flowing from baby back into the placenta is extremely unlikely, especially in uncomplicated births. Mark Sloan, M.D. assures, “As the newborn’s oxygen saturation increases, the umbilical arteries close, which stops nearly all blood flow from baby to placenta. The umbilical vein, which isn’t sensitive to oxygen, remains open somewhat longer, allowing a final bit of blood to flow from placenta to baby before it, too, closes.”

Jaundice?
Although some health care providers warn their patients that delayed cord clamping causes severe jaundice, many scientists and doctors agree this to be untrue.  Sloan says, “Since bilirubin, the source of neonatal jaundice, originates in red blood cells, it seems logical that the increased blood volume associated with delayed clamping could lead to severe hyperbilirubinemia.

Yet while some studies have demonstrated mildly increased bilirubin levels in DCC babies in the first few days postpartum, most have found no significant difference between DCC and ICC.

This seeming paradox—relatively stable bilirubin levels in the face of substantially increased blood volume—may have to do with increased blood flow to the neonatal liver that comes with the higher total blood volume associated with DCC. Yes, more blood means more bilirubin, which in turn could mean more jaundice, but better blood flow allows the liver to process bilirubin more efficiently.”

Image by Esther Edith

Nuchal Cords?
In the case of a nuchal cord (a cord around baby’s neck), “only if the birth is prevented should cutting be permitted,”   otherwise, a somersault maneuver is recommended. “Some studies have associated nuchal cord with an increased rate of variable fetal heart rate decelerations during labour, and tight nuchal cords to a higher proportion of fetal distress and low Apgar scores. However, in these retrospective studies the definition of tight nuchal cord were those ‘clamped and cut before delivery of the shoulders’ – therefore short-term morbidity was more likely caused by the interventions rather than the presence of nuchal cord.”

Resuscitation?
What if baby needs resuscitation, and/or immediate pediatric care? Is delayed cord clamping still safe? Mark Sloan M.D. suggests it could be the best option for such cases: “One of the first things a truly sick baby in the NICU is going to receive is fluid support—often as a 20 to 40 ml/kg bolus of normal saline or blood. Yet that is exactly what’s left behind in the placenta with ICC—about 30 ml/kg of whole blood. There is considerable evidence that sick babies, both term and preterm, have better outcomes with DCC. It’s better to let nature do its own transfusing.”

Cesarean Birth?
A c-section is not an automatic case for early cord clamping. The American College of Nurse Midwives writes,

“The usual practice at cesarean delivery is immediate cord clamping; however, infants born by cesarean can benefit from placental transfusion resulting from delayed cord clamping or umbilical cord milking. Researchers initially reported that placental transfusion did not occur at the time of cesarean delivery, but this was most likely associated with uterine atony and the use of general anesthesia.(21) In a small observational study, Farrar and colleagues recently demonstrated that a full placental transfusion does occur at cesarean delivery, but the optimal timing of delayed cord clamping remains unclear.(22) Ogata et al. reported that a 40-second delay in clamping provided the infant with a partial placental transfusion.23 Concerns were raised that blood would flow back to the placenta if the cord was clamped after 40 seconds, but this reverse flow has not been demonstrated.(23)

Another approach at the time of cesarean delivery is to milk the umbilical cord. This approach is ideal for cesarean birth when time and speed are important factors. In a small, randomized controlled trial, Erickson-Owens et al. compared immediate cord clamping with umbilical cord milking. They found less placental residual blood volume and higher newborn hematocrit levels at 48 hours of age in infants who received umbilical cord milking. (9) Delayed cord clamping and umbilical cord milking are approaches the clinician may consider at the time of cesarean delivery to facilitate placental blood transfer to the newborn.”

Is it Worth Delaying Cord Clamping for Full-Term Babies?

Although some believe that delayed cord clamping only benefits premature babies, this is untrue. “Whether a fetus is premature or full term, approximately one-third of its total blood volume resides in the placenta. This is equal to the volume of blood that will be needed to fully perfuse the fetal lungs, liver, and kidneys at birth.” (Mark Sloan, M.D.)

before and after photo of delayed cord clamping, Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography, benefits of delayed cord clamping, umbilical cord        Image by Monet Nicole

 

7 Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping for Babies:

 

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                                               Image by Anna Pollitt

1. Prevents iron deficiency during baby’s first year
Iron deficiency is sometimes an issue during a baby’s first year; allowing them to receive the extra blood through DCC (delayed cord clamping) can greatly aid this issue: “Five trials of term infants (1152 infants) measured indicators of iron deficiency at 3–6 months of age. Infants with delayed clamping were significantly less likely to have iron deficiency than early-clamped infants” – World Health Organization 

2. Allows healthy function of liver, lungs, and kidneys
DCC provides an adequate blood supply, which is vital for healthy organs. “Whether a fetus is premature or full term, approximately one-third of its total blood volume resides in the placenta. This is equal to the volume of blood that will be needed to fully perfuse the fetal lungs, liver, and kidneys at birth.” Mark Sloan, M.D.Additionally, “In term neonates, delayed cord clamping has been associated with decreased iron-deficient anemia and increased iron stores with potential valuable effects that extend beyond the newborn period, including improvements in long-term neurodevelopment.” Ryan McAdams, M.D. 

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Image by Esther Edith

3. Increases blood platelet levels (important for clotting)
A common concern at birth is baby’s ability to clot well, due to potential Vitamin K deficiency, and possible birth bruising/injury. Delayed cord clamping ensure that “the baby can receive the complete retinue of clotting factors.”

4. Increases number of stem cells
Also in relation to birth injury, a rich level of stem cells can help to repair any potential brain damage. Mark Sloan, M.D. also notes that stem cells “play an essential role in the development of the immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems, among many other functions. The concentration of stem cells in fetal blood is higher than at any other time of life. ICC (immediate cord clamping) leaves nearly one-third of these critical cells in the placenta.”

5. Stabilizes blood pressure
Dr. Heike Rabe, a neonatologist at Brighton & Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom reports, “Preemies who have delayed cord clamping tend to have better blood pressure in the days immediately after birth, need fewer drugs to support blood pressure.” Additionally, studies show “a 52% reduction in the rate of blood transfusions for low blood pressure among preterm babies when delayed cord clamping is practiced.”

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                                            Image by Monet Nicole

6. Allows for better growth and development of brain and central nervous system (impact can last for years)
Due to an increase in iron, and stem cell supplies, this allows baby a healthier functioning brain, and central nervous system. The development of these systems is crucial, especially in the earliest years, and the impact can have long-term effects.

7. Increases blood volume
Whether baby is premature, or full term, 1/3 of baby’s blood resides in the placenta, and waiting as much as 3 minutes can allow baby to receive a significant amount of this blood volume, which means fewer blood transfusions, higher birth weight, and overall health (as listed above).

 

2 Ways Mothers Benefit from Delayed Cord Clamping

 

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                                 Image by Monet Nicole

 

1. Allows for an easier, faster, and safer delivery of the placenta.
According to the World Health Organization, “less blood-filled placenta shortens the third stage of labour and decreases the incidence of retained placenta.” Since most of the blood has been transferred to baby, the placenta will no longer be plump with blood; this allows for a potentially quicker delivery of the placenta, and increases the chances of delivering placenta intact.

2. Gives mother and baby some time to bond, (preferably, whilst skin-to-skin).
Since baby is still attached to the placenta, this prevents baby from being taken away from the mother, allowing them to bond and get to know each other on this side of life. Although there has been some question about how gravity influences the blood transfusion to baby from the placenta, The Lancet Medical Journal “Position of the newborn baby before cord clamping does not seem to affect volume of placental transfusion. Mothers could safely be allowed to hold their baby on their abdomen or chest. This change in practice might increase obstetric compliance with the procedure, enhance maternal-infant bonding, and decrease iron deficiency in infancy.” Mother and baby can freely begin breastfeeding during this time, which may cause contractions, and hence contribute to the delivery of the placenta.

 

 

Is Delayed Cord Clamping Compatible with Cord Banking?

If you are wondering whether you can opt for both delayed cord clamping, and cord banking, Frances Verter, PhD. board member of the Umbilical Cord Blood Education Alliance says “Yes!” But she advises that delaying more than 3 minutes may result in little to not enough blood for cord banking. However, even if you only delay cord clamping for up to 3 minutes, the possibility of cord banking depends on the collector: “Delayed cord clamping is not often compatible with cord blood donation or storage. The reason being is that in order for them to collect the amount of blood they want to store, some collectors will say that they need the cord cut immediately, and some (as confirmed by one of the biggest Australian cord blood collection companies, as recently as September 2013) will only allow up to 60 seconds before they want the cord clamped. This is not long enough for most of the benefits to reach your baby. If you would like your baby to have it’s full supply of cord blood, you may need to reconsider you plans to donate or store cord blood. From the above recent study (2010) the following comments were made on cord collection: “There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection,” concluded co-author and obstetrician Dr. Stephen Klasko, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine. “The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.” So prevention is clearly better than cure – your baby will be better off keeping what is rightfully theirs.”

ACOG advises, “The routine practice of umbilical cord clamping should not be altered for the collection of umbilical cord blood for banking.”

Penny Simkin on Delayed Cord Clamping

Here’s an excellent visual presentation by Penny Simkin on why it’s important to delay cord clamping.

What did/will you choose for your birth?

Please feel free to comment with your questions, stories, and feedback, and please share this post with others to help spread awareness about the benefits of delayed cord clamping.

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                                                                                                                                                    Image by Monet Nicole

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Sources:
American College of Nurse Midwives
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Cochrane Library
Evidence Based Birth
Guideline: Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping for Improved Maternal and Infant Health and Nutrition Outcomes
Guidelines on Basic Newborn Resuscitation
Healthline
International Childbirth Education Association
Intrapartum Care: Care of Healthy Women and Their Babies During Childbirth
Mark Sloan M.D.
NPR, Delayed Cord Clamping
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Childbirth Trust
Penny Simkin
USF Health
World Health Organization

Keywords: Delayed cord clamping, early cord clamping, evidence based cord clamping, nuchal cords, infant care, newborn procedures, evidence based birth, informative child birth, blogs about birth, motherhood, christian motherhood, christian childbirth, christian motherhood blog, the birth garden.

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  • Sarah

    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s so helpful to read about the benefits of delayed cord clamping.ReplyCancel

  • Very informative and beautiful photos! Wish I had read something like this year’s ago when I was pregnant.ReplyCancel

  • Great article on the benefits of delayed cord clamping! I love seeing images from different photographers showcasing delayed cord clamping. Beautiful job with this blog post!ReplyCancel

  • Amber D

    Wow, great article!! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful! I’m so honored to be included in this gorgeous article!ReplyCancel

    • thebirthgarden

      Thank you, Monet. Honored to include your gorgeous work.ReplyCancel

  • Such an informative article about delayed cord clamping, thank you! These cord images are just dreamy, too. Love!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Isaac

    What a fantastic collection of information to help make decisions about cord clamping. Thanks for your hard work.ReplyCancel

  • This post in extremely helpful and informative! Thank you so much for researching and taking the time to share all of this incredible information. I will definitely be bookmarking this blog for future reference! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • thebirthgarden

      Thank you so much, Maggie! Yes, please feel free to refer to/share any time.ReplyCancel

  • Hillarie

    Beautiful pictures and so much information <3ReplyCancel

  • What a fascinating blog post, so much information for moms to be. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • This is very informative, and the beautiful images do so much to show the beauty and complexity of birth! This article should help lots of women make informed decisions about cord clamping.ReplyCancel

    • thebirthgarden

      Thank you, Christine. I do hope it’s useful to expecting families.ReplyCancel

  • what a great article! I wish I had know about delayed cord clamping when I had my kidsReplyCancel

  • LOve this, so informative! We waited for clamp the cord!ReplyCancel

  • Mandi

    Very informative! Great info!! I so wish we could have done this, but my son’s cord broke during birth.ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    WOnderfulReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    Love the photo of you and C. Such a great post on the benefits of delayed cord clamping. Thanks for sharing EsReplyCancel

  • […] recently wrote an informative piece about the benefits of delayed cord clamping, and I was fascinated by how the umbilical cord works: it contains one vein, which carries oxygen […]ReplyCancel

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August 5th, 2015

Today, when I woke up, I knew something was different. However, I had made up my mind that I would ignore just about everything, as I’d had so many false alarms the previous two weeks, I couldn’t imagine one more. But, today was different. Upon waking and getting ready for the day, I noticed that I had started spotting. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but who wouldn’t be? I was one day shy of 40 full weeks!

When I finished getting ready, I hopped in the car to meet my sister for breakfast. Emily decided she would come with me to run some errands. I was too unsettled to sit around at home. Plus, I figured it would be good to walk around, and keep moving. We drove downtown, and as I traded in empty MAC containers for lipstick, I couldn’t help but notice – these cramps are killing me. So, we tested out some new lip colors, and slowly walked around the mall. Next up was supposed to be pedicures, but my sister decided she needed to be home with her family. I couldn’t blame her, but for some reason after dropping her off, I cried. I threw a minor pity party. I really wanted that pedicure. But I didn’t want to go alone. So I settled in at home, and decided to relax on the sofa. I listened to, and sang along with some worship music, read my Bible, and waited for Connor to come home from work.

Around 2pm, I checked in with our doula, Sarah, to let her know the latest. She and I were in agreement that the spotting and cramps were likely because of intimacy the night before. My heart sunk, as I was hoping it was the start of something good! I was so tired. I was so crampy. And – ugh, this bleeding. Why wonʼt it stop? I want… no need, ice cream… So, after Connor came home from work, we decided an ice cream date was in order. Before we left, I was still spotting and cramping, so I checked in with our doula again, and let her know I was doing my best to ignore things, and nothing new was happening. Connor and I drove to Dairy Queen and ordered some yummy treats. I wasn’t ready to go home, and since his sister and her husband were in town, we decided to pop over to his mom’s to visit. I needed all the distractions I could get.

Through the evening, I was unable to sit for very long. I kept standing, then sitting, then stretching, and rocking my hips back and forth. Ugh, these cramps. Maybe I just need more water. I kept reminding myself, Morgan, just ignore it. Youʼll know when itʼs time. Itʼs not time.

Our conversations went from babies, to life, to labor, and chatting about their experiences. Around 8:00pm, I told Connor that I was tired and ready to go home. My sister-in-law stopped us and asked if she could pray over me. In the middle of the front room, I sat on the sofa, big, tired, and emotional. She prayed. She prayed over my body, over our baby, over labor and delivery, and we offered up thanks for God’s goodness and mercy, and we were in great anticipation of the Birthday He had already picked for our little one. It was a beautiful moment. It was several minutes,  pain free.

As we were leaving, Sarah checked in on me again. I told her that not much had changed. She suggested I take a warm bath, and snuggle in for the night, and get some good rest. I happily agreed. I took a nice, long, warm bath, and cozied up in bed.

August 6th, 2015

I woke up around midnight after tossing and turning in a fitful sleep. I had terrible gas pains, or so I thought. Eventually, I rolled out of bed and decided to head down to my exercise ball and the sofa. This was not uncommon; as my pregnancy progressed, I often retreated to the living room so I wouldn’t wake up my husband. After a while, the gas pains felt crampy, so I scurried to the bathroom thinking I needed to go. I repeated this multiple times, and assumed that whatever I had eaten, must have not agreed with my tummy. It was probably that silly ice cream I HAD to have. Around 1:30am these pains were coming pretty consistently. Leave it to our friend, Google, to give me answers, HA. Itʼs nearly 2:00am, and here I was googling the difference between contractions and gas pains. It suggested that if I could note a distinct start and finish, and time them, it was likely contractions. So, I gave it a whirl.

IMG_9931

…………………………………..Start 1:42am – Duration 1:21 minutes.

…………………………………..Start 1:46am – Duration 1:26 minutes.

……………………………………….        ….Holy cow, these are like 3:50 minutes apart.

I continued to time them for another 20 minutes, and they continued to increase in discomfort. I finally realized that I was having contractions. But I wasn’t convinced that it was go time. I had texted my mom earlier, and we had made plans that I would pick her up bright and early for my 40 week midwife appointment. I remember saying, “I’m not sure I’m gonna make it to my appointment.” Around 2:15 am I went up to our bedroom, and knelt next to Connorʼs side of the bed. I gently woke him, and showed him my timers, and asked that he wake up and help me. I was nervous, and up and down, and back and forth, often running to the bathroom to pee, again. He encouraged me to send some screen shots to Sarah, and at this point I was feeling confident that I was in the beginning stages of labor! I heard no response from Sarah, however I was also confident that I could hold out and continue on our own for a while. We continued timing my contractions, and laid together in bed in the dark, giggling, and talking about how we couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Itʼs time!

Around 3:30am, Connor encouraged me to call the Midwives. I think this is when his nerves kicked in. Since we hadn’t heard back from our doula (which was my mistake, we probably should have called her, and later found out thatʼs what she prefers), I left a message with the midwives, and we waited for a call. Around 4:15am, one of the midwives returned our call, and listened to me, and we talked about how I was feeling and what was going on. After tossing the phone away and onto the bed mid-contraction. she strongly suggested we make our way there, but we weren’t in a huge hurry. As I continued to lay in bed, pace around, use the restroom, and get myself ready, Connor gathered up the remainder of our items and made us each a smoothie. By this time, I had noticed that with each contraction, I was needing to pee. It was incredibly strange to me, but I didn’t know what labor would be like, so I just went with it! We laughed a lot at my constant peeing!

As the sun was rising, we drove to the hospital. I made sure to have a giant beach towel under me as my water had not broken, and I knew it could at any time. I had heard that having contractions in the car was no joke… well, itʼs true. With each contraction I squirmed in my seat, unable to find a comfortable position. We arrived at Deaconess, and I managed my way through a few more contractions as we completed the check-in process. I was then taken to our room, and was incredibly pleased to see that we had been placed in our desired room! It was large, and in the far corner. It felt private, and secluded. I changed into the hospital gown at first as we hadn’t brought in the remainder of our things, and my nighty was in that bag. I didn’t mind, because in my mind, I thought for sure they were going to send me home! They placed me on the monitor and confirmed that my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, and lasting, at the very least, one minute. Upon checking my cervix she found that I was only 3 cm and about 80% effaced. I was devastated. I thought for sure that was the cue for me to go home, and come back when it was really “go time.” However, they decided to keep me, and monitor me for 2 hours.

Iʼll never forget that I had made my 40 week appointment for 9am. I mentioned over, and over again that I didn’t want them to think I was a no call – no show. Apparently, I was really worried about this because I didn’t just mention it once. They repeatedly assured me that they had taken care of the appointment for me.

At 7am, I received an encouraging text from Sarah, “Way to go, momma!” It also said to call her once I was awake and ready to chat. I immediately called her and let her know we were at the hospital. She suggested I take a bath, and call her when I was ready for her to come. I immediately started to cry. I was scared, and I didn’t know how to express it. So she asked if I wanted her to come, and I said yes. She explained that she would be there as soon as she could, but no later than 2 hours. After monitoring me, the midwives agreed that I was indeed in true labor, and helped to coach me through. It was time for a shift change, and I was so pleased to see that Val was there to deliver that day! I had only met her twice before, and I loved her soft spirit. Every time she came in the room, I felt a sweet and soft presence! At this time, my contractions were getting more intense, and the tub was no longer doing anything for me. Around 8:30am, Sarah arrived, and Connor was able to leave for a bit to get coffee and food, as well as unload the rest of the car. Sarah immediately had me chugging water, started up the diffuser, and rubbed my back and spine with essential oils. She promptly directed me to the toilet to labor for a bit. At first, I felt a little awkward, but I was so comfortable with her that soon we were laughing and talking, all while I was on the potty! As we sat in the bathroom, she coached me, reminding me that each time we move positions I’ll have to re-learn how to cope, and that a contraction is like a wave: it will start, and build, then slowly fade. I found so much comfort in knowing how my body was working.

My bleeding had increased, and I was still peeing with each contraction. As we changed positions around the room we placed a towel under me. I was so embarrassed. Connor finally returned, after being gone for a little over an hour, and this is when I asked for some mesh panties and a pad. This allowed my bladder to do what it needed without pee running down my legs in front of my husband. Sarah kept reminding us that with each new position, I would need to relearn how to manage, and breathe through the pain. The pain and the resting was so much more than I realized. It was strong, and intense, but then it was gone! I often started with a moan of “I canʼt…. I can… I can.. I can do this,” while they both encouraged me to nod my head “yes” instead of shaking my head “no” as each contraction came on.

Sarah and Connor were great at reminding me to drink my coconut water, and to take little bites of my sandwich. Sarah coached Connor on positions to hold me in, how to support me, how to sway me. As she rubbed frankincense oil, and clary sage on my spine and hips, we bounced, we swayed, we laughed. I cried.

My contractions were beginning to grow incredibly difficult. Around this time, my memory got foggy, and I know for certain my eyes only opened to walk, to change positions, or to meet with Sarahʼs gaze. I donʼt recall if I had any more cervical checks; time was slipping away. At one point, Sarah asked me to make eye contact with Connor during my contractions. I tried it once, and immediately started crying. Looking at him, I realized I had SO many emotions. I was scared, and nervous. I was in pain, and making low, primitive noises Iʼd never heard. Looking at him made me feel wild, and out of control. Our past collided with the now, and it was an explosion of emotions. I quickly dropped my gaze. I caught myself peeking up quite often, and my eyes always caught the clock. I requested several times to change positions because I didn’t want to see the time. I was impatient, and tired. As we danced around the room, Connor loved me well. He supported my weight, he held me close, he hugged me.

Morgan Brooks Birth Story Crosby Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photographyAround 11:30am, my water still hadn’t broken. The nurse commented on how my contractions sounded a bit “pushy.” I was still eating small bites, and drinking loads of water. This is when they started wheeling in the baby stuff, and getting ready for his arrival! My mind immediately went into panic mode! I lost it. I didn’t want it see it; I didn’t want to know it was there. I requested to get in the tub again. As the tub was filling, we started a saline lock. Once I was back in the tub, Val rejoined us. I labored in the tub for a short while longer. She watched as I managed some contractions. They checked babyʼs heart rate, and monitored me. I had moved to be on my hands and knees while in the tub. I started to cry again. I wanted to escape. I started to stand up, and my plan was to leave. I was gonna flea! Sarah asked me where I was going, and I quickly exclaimed that I was leaving. She asked me why, and I sunk back down into the water, and shamefully said I didn’t know. I stared to explain to everyone that I wasn’t supposed to have babies. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Loss, after loss, heartbreak, and infertility. Here I was, getting ready to deliver our baby! It was the most intense emotion. He was almost here. We were almost there!

It was time to get out of the tub, and they wanted to check me again. I was fully effaced, and 9.5 cm, but part of my cervix was caught. As my contractions kept getting more and more pushy. I knelt on the bed, arms supporting my weight. Sarah encouraged me to sing through my contractions.

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Here now
All I know is I know that You are Here now
Still my heart
Let Your voice be all I hear now Spirit breathe
Like the wind come have Your way Cause I know You’re in this place

It wasn’t pretty. I prayed aloud: “God this hurts!” I asked for help. I asked for strength. I sang. I raised my hands in worship to a powerful God! Connor prayed over me, Sarah prayed over me. I felt out of control. It was hard to breathe. I was hot, then cold, then hot. I couldn’t breathe. I felt sick.

Keep Going. I can do this.

Around 12:30pm it was time to push! I rolled onto my side, and pushed 1-2 times. With each push, Val assisted in stretching the remaining cervix out of the way. Breathe, push, stretch, repeat. Out of nowhere my contractions completely stopped. I thought for sure my labor was stalling. Val insisted that this was normal, and they have no way to explain it, but sometimes women get a small break before intense pushing. I rested for 5-10 minutes. As soon as the next contraction hit, I was able to push again. It was a deep tightening that engulfed my entire torso. Every inch of my body could feel the contractions as I pushed with everything in me. I can do this, I can do this. Heʼs almost here. At some point, I asked for medications, but as I was asking, I also knew that it wasn’t possible, and, it was not what I wanted. (I admitted, I only said it for the sake of asking, as if someone would take me seriously.) With the next push, my water broke. It was a delicate “POP,” and a wild gush. I pushed again, and I could hear Connor praying over us in my ear. This entire time, my eyes were closed. Push. My eyes popped open. It burns. It hurts. I need heat. I want to stop, but I want to know if he has hair. I feel like I canʼt breathe. I feel sick. Iʼm hot. Push… thereʼs his head! With one final PUSH, out he slid.

I sighed, and breathed relief. Oh my gosh it feels so good to have him out! My little wiggle worm was peeking up at me. He was covered in blood and fluid, yet the most beautiful sight Iʼve ever seen. I was shocked. I looked around at everyone in confusion… Heʼs here!? We did it!

Morgan Brooks Birth Story Crosby Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography

Connorʼs eyes were filled with tears. I held him close to me as we waited for his cord to stop pulsating. Connor cut the cord. As we wrapped ourselves in a blanket cocoon, I felt a warmth run across my belly. My little stinker peed all over me! In the moment, it was so precious. As they massaged my belly, and checked me for tearing, I gazed at this beautiful, chubby little man staring at my face. I was clueless to the world around me. They massaged my tummy some more, and I successfully delivered the placenta. I lost quite a bit of blood after that, however it was managed well without intervention. We attempted to latch him on my breast right away, but he was uninterested. He was so busy taking everything in and staring at his Momma! I was immediately in love.

Sarah stayed for about 45 minutes, and then left us to bond. They finished cleaning me up, and I was later transferred to the mother/baby unit where we later had visitors. I was proud. I felt amazing! I did it!

After getting to hold my babe and seeing his sweet little eyes peeking up at me I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving. God had been faithful. I wasn’t able to see the full picture at first, but now, now I could see. His timing was purposeful, His grace was enough, and His power was more than sufficient to lead me through, not only our past experiences, but the process of bringing our sweet babe earth side. He had placed redemption all over our birth, and I am continually blown away by his goodness.

 Crosby Dixon Brooks – August 6th 2015 – 1:08pm – 8 pounds 8 ounces – 21 inches long

Morgan Brooks Birth Story Crosby Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography

Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography

Blogs about motherhood | Christian motherhood | Christian childbirth | Christian Birth | birth for the glory of God | Psalm 139 | Bible verses childbirth | Birth affirmations | mom blogs | natural mom blogs | crunchy mom blog | crunchy christian blog | blogs about being a mom
articles about motherhood | gentle parenting | Godly motherhood | Godly mom blogs | Esther Edith | Spokane Photographer | Spokane Birth Photographer | Spokane Doula | Spokane Christian Birth | Spokane Christian Photographers | Spokane Christian Doulas | birth stories | Christian birth stories

benefits of skin to skin with newborn, Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography

“The skin, the largest organ in the human body, is very rich with nerve endings. At the time when baby is making the transition to air breathing, and the initial breathing patterns are very irregular, stroking stimulates the newborn to breathe more rhythmically–the therapeutic value of a parent’s touch.” – Dr. Sears

Did you know that skin-to-skin immediately after birth is greatly beneficial to both baby and mother? Baby’s are more likely to latch well, maintain their body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and have normal blood pressure, and blood sugar. They’re less likely to cry, and more likely to breastfeed exclusively, and longer. That intoxicating, wonderful smell of a newborn helps mum (+ dad) to bond deeply with baby. It releases oxytocin, which contracts a mother’s uterus, stimulates prolactin (the milk-making hormone), and helps mum to feel connected and close to baby.

Fearfully and wonderfully made, indeed! I watched a video recently in which a baby, after being pronounced dead, “comes back to life” when a mother holds him skin-to-skin.  (Watch it here if you are interested — it’s an amazing story about how God preserves a little life.)

Did you get to be skin-to-skin with your baby after your birth(s)?

Motherhood Blogs, Christian Motherhood Blogs, Christian Birth, Christ centered birth, christian pregnancy, christian parenting, blogs about motherhood, evidence based birth, birth without fear, home births, birth photography, spokane birth photographer, christian birth photography

Blogs about motherhood | Christian motherhood | Christian childbirth | Christian Birth | birth for the glory of God | Psalm 139 | Bible verses childbirth | Birth affirmations | mom blogs | natural mom blogs | crunchy mom blog | crunchy christian blog | blogs about being a mom
articles about motherhood | gentle parenting | Godly motherhood | Godly mom blogs | Esther Edith | Spokane Photographer | Spokane Birth Photographer | Spokane Doula | Spokane Christian Birth | Spokane Christian Photographers | Spokane Christian Doulas

  • What an amazing christian blog about birth motherhood. I loved this quote, “The skin, the largest organ in the human body, is very rich with nerve endings. At the time when baby is making the transition to air breathing, and the initial breathing patterns are very irregular, stroking stimulates the newborn to breathe more rhythmically–the therapeutic value of a parent’s touch.” – Dr. SearsReplyCancel

  • Andrea Brittingham

    Such a sweet Christian blog about birth and motherhood! I love your watercolor logo and refreshing color schemes. Having not been blessed with motherhood yet myself, I’ll definitely keep this information in mind in the future. I’m always one to keep things as natural as possible!ReplyCancel

  • Yes! I did get skin to skin. All three babies. This is beautiful and I love that story!!ReplyCancel

    • thebirthgarden

      Thank you, Stephanie! Glad to hear.ReplyCancel

  • What a great christian blog about motherhood – thanks for sharing this info. Beautiful images as well!ReplyCancel

  • […] Gives mother and baby some time to bond, (preferably, whilst skin-to-skin). Since baby is still attached to the placenta, this prevents baby from being taken away from the […]ReplyCancel