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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: C-Section - Leaving Umbilical Cord & Placenta attached?

 elsabe - Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:51 pm

I am 32, female, and having a planned c-section with my second child, due March 2008 (first child was delivered vaginally, but after 2 years with resulting vulvar vestibulitis, I'm opting for the c-section). My question: is it possible to have the baby delivered via cesarean while leaving the umbilical cord/placenta attached and intact until a bit later? I'd like to be able to wait a few minutes before cutting the cord, and I'd also like to save my placenta. Thanks...
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:53 pm

User avatar Your doctor should be able to leave the placenta in place for around five minutes (the time frame within which you would normally deliver it if having a vaginal delivery). There are even some women who deliver the placenta naturally even after a c-section removal of the baby. Any longer wait would be unnatural so if you are opting for going more with nature here for bleeding concerns , the five minutes should be adequate.

I hope this answers your question. Best wishes.
 elsabe - Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:24 pm

Thanks for the response. I guess what I was envisioning was more along the lines of remove the baby, cord, placenta & all and then I'd be able to hold her (sort of like if I'd delivered vaginally) while they sewed me up...but I suppose that's not realistic? I had read a bit about the debate re: spontaneous delivery of the placenta vs removal and the effects on bleeding...but like I said, to be honest that's not really my concern...more just wanting to make things as 'natural' as possible given the planned situation (baby is born, mom gets baby on her chest to snuggle/nurse/etc.).
 Debbie Miller, RN - Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:10 pm

User avatar You should still be able to do this snuggling part. The placenta in a vaginal birth is delivered and cord cut, sometimes as baby is placed on the chest and sometimes before that. It is not necessary to delay that in order to get the baby on your chest or even to nurse. A c section does mean a little more awkwardness due to positioning but the same bonding events should take place. Let the staff know your desires so they can accommodate as much as is feasible. I guess what I'm saying is the suturing/closing will take place right away and delaying delivery of the placenta is not going to make a difference there except for the possible five minutes.

In a vaginal birth, you sometimes are getting stitched from the episiotomy or tear while holding your baby.

Good luck with your birth plans.

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