|Posted by transitionsbirth on February 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM|
In most births, the baby's umbilical cord is clamped within seconds of being born. Recently, this practice has been called into question. There have been several studies that show benefits to waiting even just a minute before clamping the cord. More moms are beginning to ask for delayed cord clamping, and sometimes their doctors are not familiar with the benefits of it.
Nicholas Fogelson, an OB/GYN, has this blog post which summarizes the research on delayed cord clamping. Much of the research he looks at focuses on preterm babies. Some of the benefits seen in preterm babies include fewer cases of intraventricular hemorrhage and late-onset sepsis, higher red blood cell volumes and hematocrits and less need for mechanical ventilation and surfactant. In term babies, there were higher iron stores at 6 months.
There is this study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which Dr. Fogelson doesn't discuss that looks at term babies:
Late vs early clamping of the umbilical cord in full-term neonates: systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Hutton EK, Hassan ES. Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
In that study, babies had better iron status and less anemia.
Dr. Folgelson also has this video of a Grand Rounds presentation he did looking at delayed cord clamping. The video is 50 minutes long and divided into four parts. In the video, he compares immediate cord clamping to robbing the baby of 40% of its normal blood volume.
Some local moms have talked to their doctors about delayed cord clamping. One objection the doctors have had is that they believe if they put the baby on the mother's belly after birth and do not clamp the cord, the baby's blood will drain back into the placenta, or the blood in the placenta will not be able to get to the baby. Dr. Fogelson addresses that issue in Part 2 of the video, starting around minute 6:30. He discusses a study that says that babys who are placed on their mother's stomachs after birth get the same amount of blood from the placenta as babies held even with the birth canal or as babies held slightly lower than the birth canal.
So if you are interested in having delayed cord clamping at your birth, look at these resources and share them with your doctor or midwife. Feel free to contact me for more information. I'd love to hear your experience of asking for delayed cord clamping and whether your doctor or midwife was supportive.
Categories: birth options