My take on cutting the cord and better ways to involve dads in the process of delivering their children.

So the other day I was reminiscing about the births of both of my kids. I got to pondering the whole tradition of the father cutting the umbilical cord at the delivery. Why is this a good idea? Who thought this kind of paternal involvement is constructive? I guess at some level I understand it. It involves the dad in the actual delivery at some stage…but I wanted none of it at the time. Here’s why.

1) I have no medical inclination whatsoever. No curiosity about biology. No urge to explore anatomy at that level of detail.  I can deal with medical emergencies, blood, vomit etc as they inevitably occur in the life of parenting, but I’m not going looking for them! That’s just not my nature. I chose the career field that I did for a reason. It’s generally bloodless. I’m always reminded of the old Bobcat Goldthwait routine where the scene in the delivery room when his child was born. The doctor asked him, “Mr. Goldthwait, would you like to cut the cord?” And his response was….”Well, isn’t there someone else here who’s more qualified?”

2) The whole cutting of the cord is completely counter intuitive to my definition of the roll as father! As a father I expect that we’d all agree on a fundamental level the job is to nourish, provide for, support and protect the child right? So WHY IN HELL would I want my first deliberate interaction with my newborn child to be severing them from the only source of nourishment they’ve ever known? Somebody explain  to me how THAT’s constructive in the overall relationship building arena. No wonder children grow up rebelling against their fathers. We’ve set ourselves up for failure from Day 1. Our first opportunity to interact with our child is to commit an amputation! Forget it! I pawned that particular act of barbarism off on the hospital staff. I’m no fool!

Here’s my solution. I want to start a new tradition. If dads really want to be involved in the delivery process in a meaningful way, allow them to assist in the first cleaning and being a part of the first swaddling of the baby. Now THAT’S a demonstration of love, support and caring. Don’t make us party to an amputation!

Just my take on things. What do you think am I on to something here?

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