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Delayed cord clamping refers to the practice of waiting a specific amount of time before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord after birth. This delay allows more blood to flow from the placenta to the newborn, which has been shown to have numerous benefits for the infant. In this article, we will explore the evidence on delayed cord clamping and discuss its potential benefits and drawbacks.
Iron is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the proper development of the brain and other organs. Iron deficiency in newborns can lead to anemia and developmental delays, so it is important to ensure that newborns have an adequate supply of iron.
Studies have shown that delayed cord clamping can increase the amount of iron in the newborn by as much as 50%. This is because the placenta contains a large amount of iron, and when the cord is clamped immediately after birth, the newborn does not have the opportunity to receive this iron. By waiting a few minutes to clamp the cord, the newborn is able to receive more iron, which can help to prevent iron deficiency and related problems.
When the cord is clamped immediately after birth, the newborn's circulation is disrupted, and it can take some time for the newborn's circulation to adjust. This can cause the newborn to experience a drop in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate. By waiting to clamp the cord, the newborn is able to receive a greater volume of blood, which can help to stabilize their circulation and improve their cardiovascular function.
When the cord is clamped immediately after birth, the newborn may experience a drop in oxygen levels, which can lead to breathing difficulties. By waiting to clamp the cord, the newborn is able to receive a greater volume of blood, which can help to improve their oxygen levels and respiratory function.
In addition to these benefits, delayed cord clamping has also been shown to have a number of other benefits for the newborn. For example, it has been shown to reduce the risk of jaundice, which is a common condition in newborns that can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of bleeding in the brain, which can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in newborns.
If you have made the decision to bank your baby’s cord blood with Anja, you can also practice delayed cord clamping. The recommended window that allows you to get all of of the benefits of delayed cord clamping is 60 seconds and up to 2 minutes! If you are interested in learning more about cord blood banking, check out this page.
The primary risk is that with increased blood volume comes a slightly increased risk of jaundice. With monitoring for this complication, as all babies born in US hospitals are monitored for jaundice, this is fully detectible. Additionally, delayed cord clamping may increase the risk of infection if the cord is not properly sterilized before it is clamped.
There are only a few reasons delayed cord clamping should be avoided. These reasons include abnormal placenta, postpartum hemorrage, or babies need immediate medical assistance. In these cases, delayed cord clamping would not be recommended, and the medical provider would clamp the cord immediately to focus on the health and well-being of the mother and baby.
In conclusion, delayed cord clamping is a practice that has been shown to have numerous benefits for the newborn. It can increase the amount of iron that is transferred to the newborn, improve the newborn's cardiovascular and respiratory function, and reduce the risk of jaundice and bleeding in the brain. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to delayed cord clamping, such as the risk of jaudince or infection. Ultimately, the decision to delay cord clamping should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific needs and circumstances of the newborn and their parents.