What is delayed cord clamping? Delayed cord clamping is a practice in which the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut immediately after a baby is born. Instead, the cord is left intact for a period of time, usually between 30 seconds to several minutes, or until the cord stops pulsating before it is clamped and cut.
Purpose of Delayed Cord Clamping
The purpose of delaying cord clamping is to allow the baby to receive a greater volume of blood from the placenta, which can be beneficial for the baby’s health. The blood in the placenta contains stem cells, iron, and other important nutrients that can help to improve the baby’s blood volume, increase iron stores, and reduce the risk of anemia. It has been associated with a lower risk of bleeding in premature infants and improved outcomes in babies born with low birth weight.
Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
Here are some of the benefits of delayed cord clamping:
- Increased iron levels: It can lead to an increase in the baby’s iron levels, which can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia in the first year of life.
- Better circulation: Delaying allows for more blood to flow from the placenta to the baby, which can improve the baby’s circulation and oxygenation.
- Improved brain development: The increased blood flow and oxygenation provided by delaying cord clamping so that it can also support the baby’s brain development.
- Lower risk of bleeding: Studies have found that it can reduce the risk of bleeding in premature babies.
- Improved immune system: The blood that flows from the placenta to the baby. It contains immune cells, which can help support the baby’s immune system.
Delayed cord clamping is generally considered safe and is recommended by many medical organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). However, there are some cases in which delaying cord clamping may not be recommended, such as in cases where the baby needs immediate medical attention. It’s important to discuss the benefits and risks of it with your healthcare provider to determine if it’s appropriate for your specific situation.