When your baby is born, we place a small clamp across your baby’s umbilical cord…
It is after this clamp is placed that the cord is cut.
The timing of placing the clamp is what we are talking about when we refer to delayed cord clamping. Recent studies have confirmed that leaving some time before clamping the cord has some benefit. Delayed cord clamping can allow the blood in the umbilical cord and placenta to be delivered to the baby.
According to ACOG:
“delayed cord clamping results in higher infant hemoglobin levels…and improved iron stores, which may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes.”
These benefits were mostly seen by waiting 30 seconds and up to 3 minutes to clamp the cord. Where possible, we use delayed cord clamping, but rarely the risk outweighs the benefit. If your baby is not breathing well or needs support at birth or if you start to bleed heavily, we may need to clamp the cord earlier than desired to keep you and your baby safe.
Picture credit: Elizabeth Ashdown Photography
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