More parents opting for 'delayed cord clamping'

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© Rebecca Turrigiano Photography © Rebecca Turrigiano Photography
© Rebecca Turrigiano Photography © Rebecca Turrigiano Photography

The umbilical cord is usually cut within moments of birth, but some parents are choosing to leave it on longer.

"It's just this euphoric moment after you have your baby," said Amanda Pineda.

She said that moment was amplified, because she decided to delay her son's umbilical cord clamping.

"Overall, I want a peaceful birth to be something I could enjoy and didn't feel rushed," Pineda said.

At the hospital, Pineda held her son, Ezra, for 20 minutes, until the placenta stopped pulsating. 

"It was a slower pace and I could really enjoy it and enjoy my baby," Pineda said.

"More and more OBs are open to having this happen," said Pineda's doula, Rebecca Turrigiano, with Loving Touch Doulas. She said the delay has spiritual and medical benefits. 

"You get about a liter of blood back into your baby, you allow that blood to keep pulsating and moving though the umbilical cord," Turrigiano said.

Some parents are even having lotus births, where the placenta is kept for days until it naturally detaches.

"It forces you, obviously, to have to stay very close to baby, because you're having to contend with the placenta wrapped and cured, carrying that, as well," Turrigiano said.

"As long as baby is transitioning well, no intervention is needed and you can delay the clamping, cutting the cord," said Dr. Stephen Frausto, an OB/GYN with Arizona Associates For Women's Health. He said delayed cord clamping is becoming more common. He hasn't seen any lotus births, but said there could be some risks.

"It could potentially be a culture medium for bacteria, still attached to the baby, so that bacteria can get into the baby's blood stream," Frausto said.

He said parents should research what they want to do, and talk about it with their provider. 

"Our role is in the community is to support people's decisions and provide a safe environment for them to have their baby," Frausto said.

"If I could go back tomorrow and do it again, I would do it again," Pineda said. 

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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