After the baby has delivered, the umbilical cord can be clamped after it has stopped visibly pulsating. Clamp the cord 6-8 inches from the baby and another 4 inches past that. An easy way to remember this is that the clamps are is placed at 7 and 11 inches from the baby (remember, you don't want to deliver a baby at 7-11).
Anatomy of the Umbilical Cord[edit | edit source]
The umbilical cord is the primary pathway between the baby and mother; through this the baby receives its nutrients and oxygen for the duration of the pregnancy. The umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein that connect to the baby's circulation on one side and the placenta on the other. After the baby has been born, the umbilical cord will be clamped, cut, and tied off, eventually becoming the belly button.
For EMTs, cutting the cord is generally only reserved for true life emergencies such as a nuchal cord (around the neck). This is due to the increased risk of infection that comes from the cut end of a cord. Neonatal immune systems are already under a large burden from the multitude of bacterium and other microflora that they have picked up on their journey through the birth canal, adding in a systemic infection stemming from an infected blood vessel can have a severe negative effect on the neonate's outcome. This may be affected by regional protocol, which often allows for more experienced providers to cut the umbilical cord in the prehospital environment.