Kristy provides support for pregnant and laboring mothers and for transitioning families after the birth of their baby.See all posts »
Delayed Cord Clamping: The Healthiest Choice for Baby
Allowing baby's umbilical cord to stop pulsating naturally before clamping it and cutting it is the best option for a healthy baby. This cord blood is a baby’s life blood until birth. It contains valuable red and white blood cells, platelets and precious stem cells that are genetically coded to your baby and your family line.
Yes, this indeed has become quite the hot topic. Thankfully we are seeing delayed cord clamping becoming general protocol at births. What an important step for an absolutely crucial practice. The benefits are indisputable.
There's so much compelling evidence that now shows that early clamping can be harmful for the baby and deprives the baby of necessary and vital nutrients, disease fighting cells, and stores of iron.
Studies have shown that a delay of clamping for even one minute from delivery can transport 20+ milliliters of fetal blood that was in the placenta back into the baby. Delaying clamping up to 3-5 minutes can result in 40 milliliters more of blood to flow into the baby from the placenta. That's 32% more blood volume than infants who have immediate cord clamping and 30 to 35 milligrams more of iron.
This transfer of blood from the placenta to the baby is most effective if the baby is placed on the mother’s abdomen or at or below the level of the uterus. Gravity will affect the transfer of blood. Sometimes you will find a doctor holding the baby in a position directly after birth that does not allow for the flow of blood to transfuse back to baby. The consequence of this may be an increased risk of respiratory (breathing) distress.
So if waiting 2-3 minutes after delivery of a baby or until the cord stops pulsating naturally before clamping the umbilical cord can provide our babies with much needed iron and disease fighting cells, including cancer-fighting T-cells, then why not do it? This practice has been found to result in babies having higher newborn hemoglobin, lower risk of anemia at birth and through 3 months, higher iron status and storage, and better oxygen levels.
It was once thought that delayed cord clamping increases an infant’s risk of jaundice, elevated bilirubin, or the need for light therapy. These have been proven to be false. Actually, it is estimated that early cord clamping deprives the baby of 54-160 ml of blood, which represents up to half of the total blood volume of the baby at birth.
I recently read a wonderful article on delayed cord clamping. The author highlights serious risks associated with early cord clamping. Check it out at http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/restricted-umbilical-cord-problems.html.