Too many medical practitioners in Western society continue to clamp a newborn’s umbilical cord immediately after birth despite no convincing evidence that immediate cord clamping is beneficial.
Why do they do it? Out of habit, due to misinformation, or due to lack of understanding about placental physiology.
In fact, the scientific evidence supports delayed cord clamping, especially in preterm infants.
Did you know that at the time of your baby’s birth she only has 66% of her potential blood supply?
By delaying cord clamping by just a few minutes that can increase. One to five minutes later, when the umbilical cord has finished pulsing, your baby has 100% of her blood supply according to Birth Matters. (See infographic below.)
Delayed cord clamping is also recommended by the World Health Organization in both vaginal and cesarean births.
Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
Better Health & Less Anemia
Your baby’s blood is full of iron, oxygen, and cells she needs to start out in good health.
- Helps oxygen flow to organs and your baby’s brain
- Helps produce red blood cells
- Can lead to higher immunity and better development
By delaying cord clamping the baby gets a natural transfusion of iron-rich blood to be stored and used by the body as a result.
Better Brain Development
Later cord clamping can lead to better development in the early years to come. This is due to more nutrients reaching the brain.
“A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later . . . Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.” // NPR.org
One study shows that children with delayed cord clamping have higher social skills and fine motor skills. This higher level is noticeable even four years later than children who have received rapid cord clamping.
Penny Simkin on Delayed Cord Clamping
In this video, Penny Simkin demonstrates the amount of blood shared between the baby’s body and the placenta at birth. She also shows how much blood is left in the placenta that is transferred to the baby if cord clamping is delayed 2-5 minutes.
Featured image source: www.pixabay.com