Delayed umbilical cord clamping

The America College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that there should be delayed umbilical cord clamping of at least 30 seconds in preterm vigorous infants; and 60 seconds in term vigorous infants.  Studies show that approximately 70% of blood available from the Placenta to the baby is transfused in the first minute after birth.

Delayed cord clamping increases the blood volume of the baby and thus improves the iron stores of the baby.  Delayed cord clamping also facilitates the fetal to new natal transition.  Clamping the cord after the initiation of spontaneous respiration in the baby helps with the cardiovascular haemodynamics during the transition of the babies life from in utero to the new natal phase.

In term newborns the delayed cord clamping leads to higher iron stores at 6 months of age.  This is particularly beneficial where the mother has low iron stores while breast feeding.  In preterm infants, delayed cord clamping has been shown to be associated with decreased risk of intraventricular haemorrhage and and necrotizing enterocolitis.