While it’s common practice to clamp and cut a baby’s umbilical cord within the first minute of her birth, a new study has found it’s better to wait at least one to three minutes after birth.
Babies whose umbilical cords aren’t clamped right away gain significant benefits, according to a recent New York Times article, which covered the findings of the new study.
Specifically, delayed cord clamping:
- allows more time for blood to move from the placenta;
- improves iron stores and results in babies that are less likely to be iron-deficient three to six months after birth;
- creates higher hemoglobin levels 24 to 48 hours postpartum;
- increases birth weight of babies because they receive more blood from their mothers;
- provides babies with a 30-40 percent greater blood supply for their lifetime; and
- lets the baby use the extra amount of blood to fill the lungs (Healthy babies manage to compensate if they do not get the blood from the cord, but researchers do not know how).
The study did not include any women who gave birth via c-sections, and doctors note that delayed cord clamping might not be a good idea for those women, as there might be an increased risk of maternal hemorrhage since c-sections are major abdominal surgery.
Seemingly, the only concern for delayed cord clamping is the very slight increased risk of the baby developing jaundice. The study found “a 2 percent increase in jaundice among babies who got delayed cord clamping, compared with those who did not.”
::Did you delay cord clamping? What was your experience?::
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