Delayed Cord Clamping


Ever heard of delayed cord clamping?  Delayed cord clamping is the prolongation of the time between the delivery of a newborn and the clamping of the umbilical cord.    Delaying cord clamping allows blood flow between the placenta and infant to continue, which may improve iron status in the infant for up to six months after birth. 

What are the benefits of waiting and how does it work?   Do I have a choice with a cesarean birth?

📌1/3 of the babys blood volume is in the placenta, waiting till the cord stops pulsating ensures that your baby recieves ALL of his/her blood from the placenta.

📌It increases RBC’s by 60%
📌It increases your baby’s blood volume by 30%
📌An additional 40 to 50mg/kg of iron transfers to baby, which reduces the risk of your baby suffering from severe side effects of iron deficiency
📌Your baby will cope better from the transition of life from the womb to world
📌Your baby’s lungs get more blood so that the exchange of oxygen into the blood can take place smoothly
📌Delayed clamping also results in an infusion of stem cells, which play an essential role in the development of the immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems, among many other functions.  Immediate cord clamping leaves nearly one-third of these critical cells in the placenta
📌Preemies who have delayed cord clamping tend to have better blood pressure in the days immediately after birth, need fewer drugs to support blood pressure, need fewer blood transfusions, have less bleeding into the brain and have a lower risk of life-threatening bowel injury
📌Resuscitation is less likely to be needed if cords are left intact and if resuscitation is needed, babies who stay connected to their umbilical cord continue to get oxygen through the cord which aids in resuscitation.  Why would you want to cut off oxygen to a baby who is struggling?
📌It ensures that baby stays on you immediately after delivery



🧠Is delayed cord clamping an option during a cesarean?   Yes!   Your best option here, is to discuss not cutting the cord with your provider.  Ask to birth the placenta without cutting the cord, waiting till the cord stops  pulsating or “milk the cord” to ensure your baby receives all the goodies🧠

📖risks to delayed cord clamping are potentially a higher level of jaundice  but do not reach clinical levels.  Research says that the benefits outweigh the risk for baby📖

What does ACOG say about delayed cord clamping?

✅ “Delayed umbilical cord clamping appears to be beneficial for term and preterm infants. In term infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores in the first several months of life, which may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes. There is a small increase in jaundice that requires phototherapy in this group of infants. Consequently, health care providers adopting delayed umbilical cord clamping in term infants should ensure that mechanisms are in place to monitor for and treat neonatal jaundice. In preterm infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping is associated with significant neonatal benefits, including improved transitional circulation, better establishment of red blood cell volume, decreased need for blood transfusion, and lower incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage. Delayed umbilical cord clamping was not associated with an increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage or increased blood loss at delivery, nor was it associated with a difference in postpartum hemoglobin levels or the need for blood transfusion. Given the benefits to most newborns and concordant with other professional organizations, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends a delay in umbilical cord clamping in vigorous term and preterm infants for at least 30–60 seconds after birth. The ability to provide delayed umbilical cord clamping may vary among institutions and settings; decisions in those circumstances are best made by the team caring for the mother–infant dyad”✅

What does The World Health Organization say:

✅"Delayed umbilical cord clamping (not earlier than 1 min after birth) is recommended for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes. "✅



Penny Simkin on Delayed Cord Clamping