So it seems that a three minute delay in clamping the umbilical cord is advised. There are no ill effects, and it significantly reduces the chances of iron deficiency in infants even months later. In another article I read recently, it also said that there were also benefits in cases where newborns were having difficulty in breathing the first couple of minutes - the umbilical cord kept the oxygen coming.
Nicholas Bakalar, in the New York Times wrote:Childbirth: Benefits Seen in Clamping the Cord Later By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Waiting three minutes or longer before clamping a newborn’s umbilical cord reduces the prevalence of iron deficiency at four months, a large trial has found.
Swedish researchers studied 334 infants, randomly assigning half to have their cords clamped within 10 seconds of birth and the rest to clamping after three minutes or longer. The two groups were statistically identical in gestational age, head circumference, health and age of the mother, and other characteristics.
In blood tests at two days after birth, there were no significant differences in iron status. But when researchers analyzed blood taken at four months, they found iron concentrations were 45 percent higher in the delayed clamping group, and iron deficiency was significantly more prevalent in those who were clamped early.
Dr. Ola Andersson, the lead author and a pediatrician at the Hospital of Halland in Halmstad, Sweden, pointed out that there were no adverse effects to delayed clamping.
“Many obstetricians worry about jaundice, and most believe that delayed clamping causes it,” he said. But he and his colleagues found no difference in rates of jaundice.
The study, published this month in the journal BMJ, is one of the largest randomized trials of delayed cord clamping and the first to assess iron status beyond the neonatal period in a high-income country.
Interesting that you bring this up. I was present at the birth of my 6 kids and a few grand kids too. I also had read the articles about a delay in clamping. One doc thought I was a crazy sot (which was probably more or less accurate) but the others agreed and without discussion waited about 5 minutes. I'm really not sure about the research but, what the hell! It's kind of of like the adage, "It aint goin to hurt" Happy to report that all 6 are well, well educated, and 13 grandbabys to keep me in sot in my elder years. I am truly a lucky man.
My true measure of a man is to what degree he agrees with me. My true measure of a woman is to what degree she disagrees with me.
It seems a lot of things are coming back round to the way things would happen naturally in childbirth, e.g skin to skin contact between mother and baby directly after birth. Makes sense that a million years of evolution should guide us in these things.