Delayed cord clamping is the process of waiting to clamp and cut a newborn's umbilical cord after baby is born. The definition of delayed cord clamping varies. At a minimum it is more than 30 seconds after baby is born. This is considered standard practice, meaning that as long as baby is healthy and transitioning well after being born, it is routinely done.
What are the benefits?
Delayed cord clamping is an important part of physiologic birth. Studies have shown that at least 2 minutes of delaying cord clamping reduces anemia in the newborn. It also improves the initial circulation when your baby is transitioning to being in the world. For preterm infants (before 37 weeks) it also reduces the need for a blood transfusion or having intraventricular hemorrhaging.
A disadvantage of delayed cord clamping is an increased need for phototherapy if baby develops jaundice. It can also reduce the amount of blood available for stem cell collection if someone was planning cord blood banking.
When is it not recommended?
If your baby is requiring immediate support that cannot be done while baby is skin to skin with you, and needs evaluation by our newborn team, we would not recommend. We would have this discussion with you either during your labor, if we saw signs that baby needed more support after being born or right when baby is born.
Concerns about bleeding post delivery?
Studies have shown that delayed cord clamping is associated with increased risk of having a postpartum hemorrhage, or bleeding too much after baby is born. It has not been shown to delay the delivery of your placenta. The cord stops pulsing before the placenta is ready to detach, and can even be delivered still attached to your baby.
If you have more questions about delayed cord clamping, be sure to ask one of your True Harmony providers at your prenatal appointments.