I was doing some homework for my epidemiology class and I came across something that reminded me about a story I had heard on NPR about delayed cord clamping at birth. The story said that the average time form birth to cord cutting was 17 seconds. Wow.
One of the doctors says that really it's only done this way because the hospital staff have better things to get on to with the baby. What they found out was if they waited, just a bit longer (94 seconds) that the baby had more blood and tended to have less anemia later in the first year. This increased iron can have many benefits, including cognitive benefits. Dr. Fogelson, from Academic OB/GYN Blog, says that there is benefit to this and he's not sure why it isn't standard yet.
Midwifery advocates have long said that the cord should not be clamped right away. Some say wait a minute. Some say that you should wait until the cord stops pulsing on its own. Others say you should wait for the birth of the placenta. My midwife preferred leaving the cord attached until baby was at least out and breathing well, saying that as long as the cord was attached baby would be safer.
What were you told about cord clamping? What do you want to do at this birth? Is it in your birth plan? What does your practitioner say about it?
- Delayed Cord Clamping
- How to Cut an Umbilical Cord
- Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns
- What is cord blood?
- Lotus Birth
Chaparro CM et al., Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping on iron status in Mexican infants: a randomized controlled trial, Lancet, 2006, 367(9527):1997-2004.