“Are you wearing that dress?”

You come out, ready to go out and your partner says…that.

What’s your thought?

While the words in the question do not explicitly say anything negative about your choice of dress, you probably are going to feel:

a) sad, b) angry, c) confused.

Definitely not:

d) hot, sexy and confident.


Language shapes our birth experience

As we talk about in my prenatal workshops,  language constructs our reality. 

And the language we use in birth shapes our experience:

Comfort measures versus pain reliefSurge, energy or wave versus labor pain or contraction.  Just to name a few.

So, I started thinking about the language of cord clamping.


The benefits to baby are clear

The World Health Organization’s recommendation is to wait one to three minutes before clamping the umbilical cord. The evidence-based research on the benefits to baby are clear: higher birth weights, increased blood volume, increased red blood cells, stem cells and immune cells. As well as a decreased risk for anemia up to six months after birth.

Source: Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 303–397, June 2014.

Language shapes our birth experience. So what about the language of cord clamping? Delayed? Optimum? Premature?

Delay vs. Premature

Delay – “to make something late or slow”. Both late and slow are words that today’s delivery wards usually do not have patience for. So, from the onset, we when desire to “delay” some process of birth, we may not be speaking the hospital’s language…even if this is unconscious on the side of the hospital personnel.

Premature – “occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early”.  Like delays, things happening prematurely, are also sought to be avoided by the medical institution. If we too seek to avoid something premature, we are talking their language. We are on the same side.


“Please help us avoid premature clamping of the baby’s cord.”

Who can roll their eyes at that request?


Some mighty resources on cord clamping

If you are in Sweden and looking for a discussion of cord clamping there are two Facebook groups I can point you to.

This one is a open group: Sen avnavling – barnets födslorätt.

And this one is private: Sen avnavling – barnets födslorätt. Sluten grupp.

While the discussions are in Swedish, if you have a particular question about practices in Sweden, you can definitely post in English and receive a flurry of responses. The groups are super engaged.


If you are not in Sweden and/or looking to read and participate in a  cord clamping discussions in English you can check out this closed group: Umbilical Cord Clamping Concerns or this page: Leaving A Baby’s Umbilical Cord To Stop Pulsating (Delayed Cord Clamping).

Please make sure you separate opinion and personal experience from research when reading on the internet! Each have their own particular value.


 When writing your birth preferences

If you desire to wait longer than one to three minutes, I suggest writing a specific length of time (15, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc) and/or a specific event (until the the placenta is born).



I would love to hear how you have written your birth preferences and how it worked for you. Or other examples of language that can change. This may well become a series!