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“My Wife Wants Me to Cut the Umbilical Cord When Our Baby is Born, But I Refused.”

One Melbourne man has taken to Reddit to ask if it would be wrong of him to refuse to cut the umbilical cord when his baby is born. Despite being a first responder and used to seeing all sorts of very confronting scenes, he admitted that the thought of it made him squeamish. However, despite initially agreeing, his wife later made it known again that she would like her husband to cut the umbilical cord when the time comes. Is he right to refuse if it makes him feel uncomfortable, or is it the least he can do considering his wife will have endured a 9-month pregnancy and childbirth?

My wife is full term and being induced tomorrow. I told her quite early on, that I didn’t want to cut to the cord. I know it’s just me and that I’m making it weird, but I find it really squeamish to cut into human flesh. It seems like a medical procedure and I’m REALLY uncomfortable with it. My wife appeared to accept my decision at the time but under protest.

Now the big day is upon us, my wife has pressed the issue again. I told her I want to be involved in every way I can, including catching the baby and handing him or her (we don’t know the sex) to their new mum.

I feel that my wife has a Hollywood idea of birth, including that I cut the cord. She also wants me to get in the shower with her and rub her back during labour, which she saw on a Netflix show. I’ve asked why the cord is so important to her and she couldn’t say. AITA?


The squeamishness is only about the cutting. I am a first responder so I’ve seen every kind of gore you can think of. Blood, guts, screaming etc. I am used to these things. 2/ I don’t want to get in the shower but I will because it’s a reasonable request and it’s a way I can compromise given my feelings about the cord.

The man wasn’t alone in his sentiments, with many people admitting they were grossed out by the umbilical cord too.

The cord is fricking gross. There. I said it. It’s like trying to cut through a really tough sausage casing filled with jelly. I used to work in the OR, I’ve dealt with a lot of gross stuff, I can list procedures that used to be the bane of my existence, but the cord was just a whole other level and I never want to do it again.

Basically, your feelings are justified. (TheRestForWicked)


Some helpful commenters tried to ease his discomfort, explaining that it doesn’t actually feel the way he is imagining from his description of it as ‘fleshy.’

If it helps, you’ll be cutting it about an inch or so away from the body/belly and they’re not your usual scissors that you’d be using. The remaining umbilical cord will be clipped and remain attached to the baby, falling off naturally after a few days.

The strangest part is that the texture is actually quite “spongey” and not flesh-like at all. (MissingLink101)


If it helps at all most labor and delivery departments when they ask you if you want to cut it the instrument is already there and on the cord you’re literally just closing the clamp. and it’s already clamped on both sides. At no point are you likely to be wielding any instruments. (Unfair-Owl-3884)

NAH here I guess but this is hardly a “Hollywood idea of birth.” Both of the things you mentioned are completely normal and common. (Upbeat-Job-7069)


Have you seen an umbilical cord before (in person or video/picture)? I wonder if you’re overthinking it. I worked 4 years as a labor and delivery nurse before I switched units and umbilical cords are more like rubber hoses than anything else. To me, they never seemed like human flesh. The delivering provider will clamp the cord in two places and you’ll cut between it, and it won’t be super close to baby.

Not trying to diminish your feelings on the matter or anything, just want to make sure you have correct expectations. For example, I don’t like watching the initial incision on a c-section because it cuts through recognizable human flesh and my brain does not like that, but I’ve cut many umbilical cords and never had a problem (to me they are so far removed from what is recognizable as human).

I don’t know if any of this helps, or makes sense, but that’s how it works for me.

And it absolutely does not hurt the baby or the mom. (well-Im-tired-now)

One mum pointed out that there were plenty of other ways that he could participate and support his wife during birth that didn’t involve cutting the umbilical cord, and at the end of the day, they’ll be the things that are actually important.

Just popping in to say my husband was squeamish about it too and didn’t cut the cord. I still felt like he advocated for me, protected me, encouraged me every step of the way and overall was an active partner through the entire process (including getting in the shower with me and doing hip presses during contractions which were a huge savior- pro tip pack swim trunks and bring a birth ball into the shower if you can). NTA just make sure to share with your wife all the ways you are eager to participate and support both her and your newborn and I’m sure it’ll be okay. (Dense-Passion-2729)


Overall, the soon-to-be dad’s right to refuse cutting his newborns umbilical cord was deemed justified, and not a necessary part of the birth when put into perspective.


Of course you don’t have to.

She probably is just looking for more ways to share the experience with you. She’s literally doing all of the work , maybe from her perspective, you doing that means you’re taking a more active role. I doubt it’ll matter at all in the moment because there will be an actual baby, which is way more exciting than cutting the cord. (ThrowRAzilla)


Life is full of uncomfortable moments. Your wife has had 9 months of them and you’ve got a lot of them to look forward to while you look after a baby (like the baby vomiting in to your mouth moment). Lots of uncomfortable moments that you can’t opt out of.

But this one you CAN opt out of. Why make life more uncomfortable than it needs to be? You wouldn’t want her to do anything she was uncomfortable with if it was easy to opt out right?

Also the “perfect birth” doesn’t include the father being grossed out, so cutting the cord while grossed out isn’t really creating the best moment for her even if you try.

NTA (TheGreenPangolin)


My husband didn’t either. Don’t blame him, to be perfectly honest I’d have rathered not be in close proximity myself. Shit like this doesn’t matter, it’s showing up day after day and being an involved parent that counts. NAH (LottieOD)

The man later provided an update stating “Thanks so much for all your comments, I believe I have read all of them. We are going to go with mum cutting the cord while I hold her other hand and control the camera remote as she would like a photo of it. Some of you suggested this, many thanks.

We do like a happy ending!

What do you think? Is cutting the umbilical cord a special moment, or just a bit gross? Who cut your babies’ cords?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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