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Who Cuts the Baby's Cord

Whose Job Is It to Cut the Cord?

We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts over on BabyCenter, including this post from Betsy Shaw about deciding who'll cut the cord when your baby's born.

The other day, my sister was here admiring some of Esther's paintings, and said,

"Esther, when you're a famous artist, I'm going to tell everyone it was me who cut your umbilical cord."

I had to laugh. I had nearly forgotten that it was my sister, Aunt Cindy, not my husband, who physically separated my first baby from me.


Not that Ian wasn't given the chance. They asked him, and he said, "No thanks."

I'm sure he was thinking, "Not bloody likely."

Related: 7 Ways to Convince Him It's Time For Another Baby

I wasn't surprised. While he is the handiest of handy men, calm and cool in a crisis, level headed to the core, severing live tissue that connects mother and child isn't quite the same as hanging a door.

Ian and I are the same when it comes to being medically squeamish.

I remember my midwife asking me if I wanted to see Esther's head crowning in the mirror.

"Not particularly," I said.

"If you reach down, you can feel her head coming," she pressed.

"No thanks," I answered. I'll take your word for it."

I could try and blame this on exhaustion– I had been pushing for 3.5 hours, after 29 hours of Pitocin labor, when she finally crowned.

But, after a meager 15-odd hours of labor and one hour of pushing with Isla, I had the same exact answer: "No thanks. Please just let me get on with getting this baby the heck out of me."

And as for the cord. Ian declined the second time as well. I guess the midwife must have cut it. (My sister didn't come back for the second time. I don't blame her.)

Looking around, I have learned that I'm not alone in having a squeamish husband. In this BabyCenter poll, 66 percent of fathers did cut the cord, while 34 percent did not.

But there might be more to it than squeamishness. It's hard to deny the symbolism in physically severing a newborn baby from its mother. Could this be what's really behind the reluctance?

Did your hubby jump, or balk, at the chance to wield the scissors in the delivery room?

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Source: Flickr User JoshuaBloom

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