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Benefits of Delaying Umbilical Cord Cutting

New Findings on When to Cut Umbilical Cord

Cutting your baby's umbilical cord is one of the rites of passage for some new parents. But new research indicates you might not want to cut the cord too soon. In a new analysis published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, delaying clamping for at least a minute after birth improves your baby's iron stores and hemoglobin levels, The New York Times reports.

Typically, doctors clamp the umbilical cord in two locations — near the infant's navel and farther along the cord — then cut it between the clamps. But newborns who were clamped later had higher hemoglobin levels 24 to 48 hours after birth and were less likely to be iron-deficient three to six months after birth.

"It's a persuasive finding," said Dr. Jeffrey Ecker, chair of committee on obstetrics practice for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "It's tough not to think that delayed cord clamping, including better iron stores and more hemoglobin, is a good thing."


However, in December, a committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reviewed much of the same evidence as the new analysis but found it "insufficient to confirm or refute the potential for benefits from delayed umbilical cord clamping in term infants, especially in settings with rich resources."

For the analysis, the report assessed data from 15 random trials involving 3,911 women and infant pairs.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
JeanetteMartinez91106 JeanetteMartinez91106 3 years
Hypnobabies has been teaching women this for years. I'm glad the medical community is deciding to catch up. :)
SueJackson1365920686 SueJackson1365920686 3 years
I was born in 1949 and was delivered at home and the cord wasn't cut until the doctor arrived some time later. I have never suffered from any form of iron defincicy ever even during my 5 pregnancies. My sister who is 18 mths older than myself was born at a hospital and I assume in those days cords were cur promptly after birth, she has suffered with an iron defincicy on and off all her life as well she has never been one to consume dairy products in any form ,thus she also lacks in calcium.
JessicaVincent98990 JessicaVincent98990 3 years
This is the way midwives have done it for centuries, doctors are in too much of a hurry.
AmandaWatt44445 AmandaWatt44445 3 years
I've done this with every one of my five children. I have the Rh factor in my blood and I was told by my D.O. That this helps a woman's body resist becoming sensitized to their own children's blood. I think it is something every woman should choose to do. I was always taught to let the placenta stop pulsing before the cord is cut.
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