Clinical Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping – the Quick Version

This resource is from Nicholas Fogelson, M.D.  He offers a synopsis of research on the benefits of delayed cord clamping to colleagues and medical students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He even suggests that the burden of proof should fall on the medical community to show that immediate cord clamping is best for moms and babies. This resource would be excellent to share with your care provider if you need help convincing him/her of the benefits of waiting.

Although the entire Grand Rounds session is lengthy (about an hour), it  is well worth your time, especially if you want to explore the benefits to at-risk infants like preemies.

Dr. Fogelson touts the following benefits of delayed cord clamping:

  • Increased Hemoglobin
  • Increased Blood Volume
  • Increasted Hematocrit
  • Protects against Iron Deficiency
  • In Preterm Infants – Protects against Sepsis and Intraventricular Hemorrhage

Other points of interest from the research Dr. Fogelson presented:

  • 50% of the blood volume in the placenta is transferred to the baby in the first minute after birth
  • The remaining volume transfers in 2-5 minutes
  • Preemies benefit from delaying cord clamping by as little as 30-45 seconds
  • You do not need to keep the baby lower than the placenta for blood transfer to occur. The blood transfers to the baby efficiently when the baby is placed on the mom’s abdomen/chest
  • Milking the cord (as opposed to just leaving it alone, unclamped) does not increase the blood transferred and may increase the risk of clinically significant jaundice

Dr. Fogelson presents compelling evidence that delayed cord clamping benefits babies.  Your baby will benefit from all of his/her blood volume AND you will help spread a more evidence-based approach to after birth care.

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