Benefits to waiting before cutting the cord

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

A new study shows that babies may benefit if the cutting of the umbilical cord is delayed for a few minutes. Traditionally, the cord was clamped and cut quite soon after the birth. In fact, usually within the first five to ten seconds of a baby's life. It was one of those "this is how we've always done it" situations.

But with all this buzz about cord blood, Canadian researchers decided to study the effects of leaving the umbilical cord attached. There's been a lot of controversy in this field, with some schools of thought feeling that leaving the cord attached could fill the baby with too much blood, causing a variety of unwanted side effects. Delaying clamping is even though to increase the mother's chances of hemorrhaging.

This latest study refutes this, saying that two minutes longer attached to mama could fill the baby with iron-rich blood stores that could prevent anemia and help fight infections well into the first year. Though there were some incidences of jaundice and polycythemia, the researchers claim there was nothing to show significant harm from extended cord attachment.

The key will be in whether or not parents embrace this idea and urge their care providers to try it. Judging by my recent experiences with asking for a VBAC, it is clear to me that much of the traditional medical world is resistant to new and controversial ideas when it comes to the birth process.

What do you think? Personally, as long as they cut the cord by the time I realize what the heck just happened to me, I'm good.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.