Everything You Need to Know: A Parent’s Guide to Delayed Cord Clamping
There has been a lot of buzz going around the parenting world lately about the practice of delayed cord clamping, with expecting mothers asking questions like what is it, what are the benefits, and how it will affect my child down the road.
Though the conversation has been happening for many years, a study published by JAMA Pediatrics sparked even more interest in the subject after reporting that the fine motor and social skills of
While it seems like a simple answer, it is important to fully understand what it is exactly you are signing up for. That’s why we wanted to give you everything you need to know about delayed cord clamping in one place: the what, the how, and most importantly, the
Delayed cord clamping is the practice of waiting to clamp and cut a newborn baby’s umbilical cord until after the placenta is delivered.
Studies show that only 80 ml of blood is transferred from the placenta in the first minute following birth, while 115 ml are supplied after three minutes. Halting
Instead of cutting the cord directly after birth, you can ask your doctor to wait until your baby has received the maximum amount of stem cells and oxygenated blood from the placenta.
“There is growing evidence from a number of studies that all infants, those born at term and those born early, benefit from receiving extra blood from the placenta at birth. The extra blood at birth helps the baby to cope better with the transition from life in the womb.”
— Dr. Heike Rabe
While the evidence in support of delayed cord clamping increases, so does the evidence against immediate cord clamping, which can actually be detrimental to the baby. Research shows that clamping too soon disrupts the natural birth process and
Benefits of Delayed Clamping
The benefits of delayed cord clamping to your baby include:
frequency of iron deficiency anemia lower need for blood transfusion reduced blood volume higher may be enhanced (JAMA Pediatrics) neurodevelopment
Delayed Cord Clamping has many potential benefits for newborns. You should discuss if delayed cord clamping is right for you and your baby with your midwife or doctor.
WHO Guidelines for Delayed Cord Clamping
The World Health Organization recommends
Here’s a summary of the WHO guidelines on delayed cord clamping:
- For full term or
pretermbabies who do not require positive pressure ventilation, the cord should be left for at least a minute before it is clamped.
new bornbaby does not breathe by itself after being thoroughly dried, it should be stimulated by rubbing its back 2-3 times before the cord is clamped and positive pressure ventilation is commenced.
Essential neonatal care should be initiated simultaneously with delayed cord clamping.
The optimal timing of cord clamping applies equally to both full term and preterm babies.
Delayed cord clamping is NOT recommended if the baby is asphyxiated/being deprived of air and needs to be instantly moved for resuscitation
.Although if the doctor has experience in administering effective positive pressure ventilation without cutting the cord, he can start the ventilation before the cord is cut.
- It’s important to note that clamping not earlier than one minute is regarded as the lower limit. Ideally, the cord shouldn’t be
clampedearlier “than is necessary for applying cord traction to reduce postpartum hemorrhage and speed the expulsion of the placenta”. It is agreed that all this would usually take about 3 minutes.
Cord Clamping and Cord Blood Banking
Many delayed cord clamping supporters will say that you
Delayed cord clamping is recommended to last between one and three minutes, according to the World Health Organization. This transfers about 80-100
of blood into the baby. This leaves an ample amount of blood left to allow for cord blood collection. mL
Learn more about Cord Blood Banking: Download our Info Kit
“Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later”, Shots (Health New from NPR), May 26 2015
“Timing of Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth”, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Reaffirmed 2014
“Effect of Delayed Cord Clamping on Neurodevelopment at 4 Years of Age”, JAMA Pediatrics, May 26 2015
“Kids’ motor and social skills improve when cord clamping
“Delaying umbilical cord clamping may improve child’s development”, Medical News Today, May 29 2015
“Guideline: Delayed umbilical cord clamping for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes”, World Health Organization, September 28 2016