What is delayed cord clamping?
Delayed cord clamping is a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut until after pulsations have ceased, or until after the placenta is delivered. According to WHO (world health organization) “delayed cord clamping allows blood flow between the placenta and neonate to continue, which may improve iron status in the infant for up to six months after birth.”
The ACOG states that “In preterm infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping is associated with significant neonatal benefits, including improved transitional circulation, better establishment of red blood cell volume and decreased need for blood transfusion. It also lowers the incidence of brain hemorrhage and an intestinal disease called necrotizing enterocolitis. For term infants, it increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores for several months, which helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life. Iron deficiency has been linked to impaired cognitive, motor and behavioral development.”
Risks of immediate cord clamping
Studies show that babies who had their cord clamped immediately can result in them having lower iron levels up to the first 6 months of life.
Risk of delayed cord clamping
Small studies have shown that delayed cord clamping can lead to a higher risk of jaundice.