What is Delayed Cord Clamping?
Delayed cord clamping is a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut beyond 30 seconds of baby’s delivery. Many times, the cord will be clamped and cut after the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating or after the placenta has been delivered.
Here are some benefits to this birth practice!
1. The Placenta Contains a Third of Baby’s Blood
Research shows that when we delay clamping the umbilical cord, the baby will receive up to 30% more of the fetal-placental blood volume than it would have with immediate cord clamping.
2. Baby Receives an Increase of Oxygen
A full count of red blood cells provides the increase of oxygen to baby for the transition to life outside of the womb. Not only is baby receiving extra oxygen but he also receives the millions of stem cells and immune cells that are inside the umbilical cord.
3. Prevention of Iron Deficiency/ Anemia
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists state that waiting just 3 minutes may prevent iron deficiency (anemia) during the first year of baby’s life. Babies receive a huge influx of iron-rich red blood cells when the umbilical cord can continue pulsating. What’s interesting is that, Mom’s breast milk has been shown to be low in iron levels. Research has shown that this extra increase of iron storage lasts in baby up to 4-6 months which is about the time that iron-rich foods are being introduced.
4. Benefits for Preemies
Of course, some preemies need to be rushed to NICU or receive immediate medical attention right after delivery. But for infants born before 37 weeks, the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada state that, cord clamping should be delayed by at least a minute after birth to reduce the need for transfusion and the potential for bleeding in the brain. It’s also been shown that preemies have fewer heart problems, better blood pressure, and less anemia.
5. Uninterrupted Cuddles
Last but not least! Delayed cord clamping promotes bonding between Mom and baby just by the fact that they are still attached to each other and forced to cuddle and get to know each other. Those first minutes of skin to skin between Mom and baby release several different hormones that create the everlasting love and bond that is so important. These first cuddles also encourage early breastfeeding!
If delayed cord clamping is something you choose to do at your birth make sure to tell your birth team (partner, doula, sister, etc.) and have it written down in your birth plan. Those first moments after delivery can be fast-paced and it’s always good to have someone on your team remember to tell your care provider your wishes in case you can’t.
There are always risks to any birth practice and it’s always a great idea to talk the benefits and risks out with your care provider to decide what is the right choice for you and your baby.
Researching decisions like this can have a big positive impact on your birth and baby!
Birth Doula & Prenatal Instructor
Yellow Bird Birth Doula
The postpartum period after a baby is born can often be an exciting but lonely time for new and seasoned mothers. In many eastern cultures this is the time that family and friends surround the new mother and ensure that she is well rested, well fed, allowing the mother to focus on her bonding and healing. Western Society however does not seem to celebrate this postpartum period so fondly called the “4th trimester”.
So what can we do to help a mother feel blessed, celebrated, and taken care of?
Bring a meal to Her
There is nothing like a hot homemade meal to nourish the soul and body. Providing a meal for her family can sometimes be a daunting task right after she has birthed a babe. Call and prearrange with the family a time for you to bring by a meal, if someone is bringing dinner, offer to bring a lunch or a breakfast. Make sure you momma knows that you simply want to drop of the meal, no visiting is required. A Basket filled of fresh fruit, crackers, granola bars and muffins makes snacking throughout the day easy specially if there are other littles running around.
Offer Her a helping hand
As a new mom one of the things that was the biggest help for me was when a good friend came over and told me to go have a hot shower and sleep. Knowing that someone was coming over and I didn’t have to have my best foot forward and “entertain” was such a relief. An uninterrupted nap and a hot shower is a great pick- me- up for mothers.
Run errands for Her
If you are planning on running errands for yourself, send a quick text asking if she needs anything picked up while you are out.
Take Her children out for the day
When there are other children in the family, it’s nice for momma and kids to have a “day off”. Set up a date where you can take the older kids out so she can focus on babe and be able to rest or putter around the house without everyone under foot. The older siblings will also enjoy a day off.
Simply Respect Her wishes
This is a hard one. It’s exciting when a new member of the family has arrived, we all want to get in those newborn snuggles as much as a possible. Often we forget about how sacred the first few months are with a newborn are and how exhausting visitors can be. If you are wanting to stop by for a quick visit , simply call or text ( texting is usually the way to go just in case momma and babe are having a nap and the noise wont interrupt that precious rest time) asking mom if she’s up for a visit. If she is great keep the visit short and sweet. If the response is no, just leave it at that. Don’t put extra pressure on momma asking when a good time would be, the first few weeks are a day by day evaluation.
Love Her from afar
If you are unable to be with her due to distance, send her an amazon package full of nourishing snacks or diapers and wipes, hire a house cleaner for her, order take out and have it delivered, offer to pay for her Netflix account for all those late night feedings. It’s really amazing what ideas you’ll find with a simple google search.
When it comes down to it, we all want to make sure momma and babe are being taken care of and not overwhelmed. Helping her doesn’t have to be complicated, it does however have to be intentional. We want her to feel loved, and cared for; anything you do will allow her to have the time and space she needs for rest, healing, and bonding. Know any new mommas or mommas to be? Send a quick text, facebook message and ask how you can best support them during this beautiful time.
Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
Let’s talk local and community for a minute.
Last night I had a great evening attending the Fraser Valley Boss Ladies networking event and ended up sitting beside a sweet woman who not only makes the most ADORABLE pies In A Jar but is also the creator of Loving Local in Chilliwack, BC. She creates events/markets that bring vendors, live music, food trucks and so much more together. I told her that she was awesome and how big of an undertaking that must be! But honestly, I love her idea of bring local people together to create a community of support and empowerment. For business and personally. She wrote this on her page:
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success ~ Henry Ford
I love this as it relates so much to building up your village around birth and raising children together. I’m not talking communal living here, although how sweet would that be?! I mean having people around you who build you up daily, pouring into your life and you into theirs. They sit with you over coffee and listen to your struggles, they help you discover the answers, and shine joy back into you. They come alongside as your children grow to be beautiful role models and help guide them through the harder times. Did you have this growing up? Aunts and Uncles perhaps, or maybe family friends? It made all the difference in my life… especially as a teenager, but you know what? That village was created long before I became a teenager with the trust and love already established. I want this for my children.
Pregnancy is tough. Birth is tough. Raising children is tough. It’s time to build your village.
If you don’t already have people in your “village”, I want to challenge you today to reach out. Build relationships by joining groups (online and in real life), talking to your neighbors and creating a space in your home that is open for others to come in. It starts with you. Go and be local.
Also, check out Loving Local’s event in August called “Made In The Valley”. I will definitely be there!
-Amanda, Owner & Doula
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
The Yellow Bird Team is at it again! We are busy creating a strong team of women ready to support you and your community. We are thrilled to announce that Kara Wieler will be joining the team as Business Manager and Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula in Training. She is skilled and educated in business operations and has a beautiful heart for women and birth.
Read more about Kara below.
I am an adventurer, a business woman and a mother of two very active boys aged 2 and 4. My passions are traveling, helping mothers and living outside of my comfort zone.
After living the last year and a half out of a travel trailer, touring western Canada with my husband and children, I am ready to settle down and start serving the community that I grew up in.
This December, I came to Chilliwack to partner with Amanda and Jaclyn at Yellow Bird Birth. Starting January 4th, I will begin a year of education with the StillBirthday Foundation ( http://www.stillbirthday.info/ ) to become a Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula. My hope for after this training is to be able to provide a necessary service to grieving parents during the most difficult time of loss: supporting the birth process and helping parents cope in the stages before and after. I also hope to facilitate a support network for women struggling with miscarriage and fertility problems.
-Yellow Bird Team
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Car Seat Safety Part 1: First Ride
It’s a moment that can make parenthood real. Your new baby has been in the safe confines of amniotic fluid, and more recently, surrounded by the safe walls of home or hospital. Now your baby is on their first car ride, and you realize that there are thousands of people in cars & trucks zooming past you that don’t even realize, and shockingly don’t even care, that you have a precious new baby in the back seat!
You might nervously sit in the front seat and wonder how your baby is doing so far away and alone in the back seat. You might be sitting right.there.beside her. Your chauffeur may be extra careful to signal well in advance, drive slightly more defensively and maybe slower than normal. This is the first drive of many.
Feelings of concerns for your baby’s safety are justified. Crashes happen. People are still texting, drinking, being distracted and making mistakes behind the wheel. Tires blow, unsecured loads fall off, and drivers fall asleep. Our newer vehicles have so many safety features built in, that we don’t even realize they are there until we need them. Airbags are hidden all over the interior and crumple zones are designed to protect the occupants. We all know about the seatbelt, and that it is extremely effective in reducing injury & death. But seatbelts are designed for the average sized adult man, and many of the airbags too (this is the main reason children under 13 should NOT be in the front passenger seat).
So how do we protect our new, tiny baby today and in the years ahead? The answer is both simple and complicated. Simple: Use a child restraint that fits your child and is installed and used correctly every time. Complicated: How do we know what fits my child? What seat fits in my car? Are expensive seats better? How DO I install my child’s seat correctly? When do we move to the next stage?
There are stats all over saying up to 90% of child restraints are installed incorrectly, so asking a friend that is already a parent, might not give you the correct advice. One infant seat that worked great for your 9lb 22.5” niece might not be the best choice for your 5.5lb 18” bundle of joy. So who can you turn to for advice?
A nationally certified Child Restraint System’s Techician (CRST…or car seat tech), is there to help! Some chose to become techs to complement their day jobs while others of us are just parents wanting to make a difference in our communities. We are passionate about Child Passenger Safety and helping parents & caregivers keep their children safe. Most of us are volunteers and are not compensated by anyone.
What does a car seat tech do?
-We recommend seats! Just because it’s a Rear Facing Only infant carrier, or it says ‘Starting at 5lbs!’, doesn’t mean it will fit a newborn well. We take into account your specific vehicle (make/model/year), if you or your partner is tall or short, whether or not you have other passengers riding along in the back seats and your budget when suggesting a seat.
-We meet with you in person. Go over your vehicle & car seat manuals. We check your install for tightness and correct recline angle. Show you how to install your seat using UAS (lower anchors) or seatbelt. We will show you how to adjust the seat to fit your baby and go over other do’s & don’ts of the infant car seat. Answer any question you have, and if we don’t have the answer we will ask our tech friends if they have the answer! Finally, we will get you to install the seat so you are confident you can do it yourself correctly!
-We explain the best practices for child passenger safety. Most medical associations recommend rear facing until the minimum age of 2, or preferably longer. Ask us why the overwhelming evidence proves this saves lives and significantly reduces injury.
Need help? Have questions?
Find a nationally certified CRST (Child Restraint Systems Technician) near you here!
A great resource is our friends over at Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs. They keep an up-to-date compilation of recommended Canadian car seats. If you don’t see the seat you’ve been eyeing on this list, there’s likely a good reason it’s missing.
Janice Kampman, CRST
I’m a Fraser Valley based car seat technician, passionate about child passenger safety. I have 4 young kids and usually 5 car seats installed in my van. I love working with people to figure out a 3-across that works for their vehicle, testing fit of car seats in clients vehicles (with my vast collection of seats!) and advising people of what seat would work best for their situation. You can contact me here:
Yellow Bird Birth
Doula | Placenta Encapsulation | Birth Pool Rentals in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack
The first time I noticed it was when I got in an argument with my husband. I packed up my son in the car and drove to a beach an hour away. It had been a small fight over something silly but I made it into a much larger emotional deal and took off. I needed some time to take my shoes off and walk in the sand with my little boy.
The second time I noticed it was driving home on the highway and realized I would be driving over a bridge and that I should plan out exactly what should happen in case it collapsed and I needed to get my son out of his infant car seat. I calculated the time it would take and exactly how I would maneuver over the seats and out the window before we would lose air. My heart pumped faster as I drove across.
This started to become a daily occurrence and each time I would get a little scarier and over the top. Planning how I could escape if there was a fire and how I would get my child out, or if we were in a store I would take notice of the exits and the best escape routes. I’m an emotional person in the first place but being 6 months postpartum with hormones flying, I thought this was normal. That each mother felt like this for their children. I started exercising and that seemed to help keep my anxiety down but then I went through my second pregnancy and it started again. My family and friends didn’t know about this since I thought it was normal and couldn’t quite explain my thoughts.
The worst day. My husband was away for a week, my son was 2.5 years and my daughter was 5 months old. I tucked the little ones into bed and turned on a movie to wind down for the evening. I did my usual checking out the window but turned off the lights and relaxed. After my show was done I went into my bed, closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.
I heard a noise, jumped out of bed and checked out the front window. It must have been the neighborhood cat which I logically knew but my mind wouldn’t calm. I checked every window in our home, every one of them. Then I walked around and turned on the lights in each room. I peaked in to check that my children were sleeping soundly in their beds. My heart was racing and nothing was helping. The house was lit up, no reason to be scared. Logically, no reason to be scared. But I was paralyzed.
I laid there stiff in my bed. Under the covers scared to move in case I would miss a noise from outside, wanting to pack up my children and run to my vehicle so we could drive to my mom’s. It was safe there and she would protect me. Only 10 minutes away but I couldn’t fathom leaving my front door. I was scared to walk from the house to the truck so I was stuck. In my bed awake until 3:30am waiting for something to happen to me.
This was post-partum anxiety.
This continued to happen, week after week I would have at least one or two nights of no sleep, staying up until early in the morning. Until the sky started to get light again.
Being open about my fears has been key. I try to talk them out loud when they begin and make sure I am understanding the difference between normal and anxiety. I often would wake my husband up during the night to discuss it and get it out in the open. However, the most help has still been exercising. When you see photos of me hiking way up on a mountain cliff, it’s not because I am trying to be competitive (even though I love doing that too), it’s facing my fears and pushing my body to limits that I never thought so that I can take back the control of being scared and anxious. I know who I am more than I have my whole life now.
While I don’t mean to make women worried with these stories, I want to make it known that post-partum anxiety is much more common than you may figure. Women are dealing with these same fears all over the country right now. If this is you, please know there is help and we can point you in the right direction to resources. I tried to reach out to my midwife at 6 months post-partum and no one returned my messages. I don’t want this to be you. Postpartum anxiety is real, serious and there is help.
Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack