Thursday, 12 December 2013

Umbilical Cord Wrapped Around Baby's Neck 5 Times!

The Facts
You may have heard that umbilical cords wrapped around a baby's neck is bad since it can strangle the baby. Wikipedia says that 6-37% of babies have a nuchal cord (cord wrapped 360 degrees around the neck). VBAC facts states that around 25-35% of babies have nuchal cords. Texas Tech University of Health Sciences states that it's around 50%. Some (1-3%) babies have the cord wrapped around their neck more than once.

How Babies Breath
Most of the time there is no cause for concern and the cord will not strangle your baby. If you think of the cord as a hose, water can still get through a hose even if it's wrapped around something. First of all, your baby isn't breathing the way we are; they're breathing through their umbilical cord, so something around their neck won't strangle them. In order for there to be a problem, there has to be a kink or cord compression which prevents oxygen from traveling through the cord and to the baby.

Cord Entanglement
The cord can also wrap itself around the baby's torso or extremities. I have heard that up to 80% of baby's have the cord wrapped around some part of their body, but can't find the link. (If you know of it, please let me know.) Twins have even a higher rate of cord entanglement, with up to 70%.

Some women choose to give birth in a hospital if they know that the cord is wrapped around their baby. They want to be there just in case. Others have safely given birth at home. You need to do what's right for you.

Cord Wrapped Around Baby's Neck Five Times
There's a Youtube video (not safe for work!) that shows an unassisted hospital birth (no one catches the baby, he just kind of plops out onto the bed) with the cord wrapped around the baby's neck five times! I think it's also great that the woman is giving her space and allowed to birth in the position that she wants, can push when she wants, and wear what she wants. (She chooses not to wear anything)

Even knots and true knots are often not a problem since these are formed at the beginning of the pregnancy when the baby can flip and turn and Wharton's Jelly helps prevent compression of the vein and arteries. 

My Story
My daughter was born with the cord wrapped around her neck, waist, and right leg. Rosa simply unwrapped the cord and put her on my chest. She was fine.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Business of Being Born

While it talks about medical practices in the US, The Business of Being Born still resonates with me since many of the interventions they do in the US are done here in Korea. You can watch the video on Youtube. There's also a sequel, called More Business of Being Born, which has four parts.
  1. Part 1: Down on the Farm
  2. Part 2: Special Deliveries
  3. Part 3: Explore Your Options
  4. Part 4: The VBAC Dilemma
Released in January 2008 with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein it raises many questions about birthing in the US. This isn't the first time that the US is under the microscope. The State of the World Mother's Reports also points its finger at the US. Despite being a first world country, the US rivals third world countries with some of its statistics about infant mortality rates and breastfeeding.

While the US seems to have changed some of its practices over the year, Korea hasn't and many things that happen here in Korea are what were happening in the US a couple of decades ago. Shaving, enemas, and episiotomies are all part of the assembly line birthing practices here. Natural birth isn't for everyone and C-sections are necessary, but there shouldn't be a one size fits all birth plan for everyone.

In both the US and Korea, the C-section rate is about 30%, however, they can vary widely from doctor to doctor and hospital/birthing center to hospital/birthing center. Many women are given interventions, such as shaving, enemas, episiotomies, pitocin, IVs, epidurals, spinal blocks, cord traction, etc.

There are other videos about natural birthing. You might want to watch Orgasmic Birth and Organic Birth and Organic Birth. Another good video to watch is Ina May's TED talk about reducing fear during birthing is also an eye-opening video that makes you re-think about all the interventions done to women in labor. Ina May Gaskin is a pioneer in the natural birthing field and has many women get the birth they want. 
Reviews about The Business of Being Born

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Cord Blood Banking in Korea

On Mama Seoul's blog she talks a bit about cord blood banking in Korea. Keep in mind that the info is from 2008 and prices have gone up a bit. Now you're probably looking at about 1.5 mil to 2 mil to do cord blood banking.

Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking
There's lots and lots of info out there and I'm not going to re-hash it all. Do your research. It's a very hot topic and people are very opinionated about it. It's a relatively new process. Here's some info about the Top 3 places in the USA.

Some people say that it's worth it, others say it's not. Some say it can help with a variety of diseases. Some say that the cord cells are only viable for 10 years. Some say that it's more likely that you can use them for your other children rather than the child whose blood you banked.

Basic Info
Contacts are usually 10-20 years. **Make sure you pick a company who can do all the paperwork necessary to transport the cells back to your home country if necessary!** Also ask about fees. The company here as well as the company back home may charge you. Transporting cord blood back home is not an easy process to do alone since there are legal issues with transporting live cells. Make sure the company can help you out.

For those of you interested in delayed clamping, it is possible to do both cord blood banking and delayed cord clamping. Birth Anarchy has more info about it.

Cord Blood Banking Companies (if you know of any more, please let me know)

  • Medipos Cell Tree: 080-264-9380

Hospitals that do Cord Blood Banking (they only do it if you give birth at their hospital)
  • Cha General Hospital, I Cord, Cord Bank. 650-9 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Telephone: : 02-3468-3000. International Clinic: 02-3468-2632 or 02-3468-3127

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