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  • Mykayla Poirier

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping - What is it, what are the benefits, and are there any risks?

not my photograph ^



Delayed cord clamping is the act of leaving the umbilical cord linked to the placenta AND the baby, without cutting it for a certain amount of time (duration varies depending on what YOU want!)



While pregnant, the placenta acts as a filter for baby’s blood, and delivers nutrients, antibodies, and oxygen to them. After delivery, much of the baby's blood supply is still located within the placenta and the umbilical cord.



Not immediately clamping the cord allows that blood to flow into the baby’s body, which increases their iron stores for the first few months of life and decreases the chance of anemia. Delayed cord clamping also helps premature babies by decreasing the need for blood transfusions, and reduces the risk of other health complications.



Because of the extra blood that has flowed into the baby, they may have higher levels of bilirubin, which can lead to a yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Jaundice is something that is routinely looked for in infants, and if levels are very high babies may get put under a phototherapy light for treatment. Even with the slightly higher chance that your baby will develop jaundice, it is still recommended that delayed cord clamping happen as the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.



You may choose to let your health care provider determine when is the appropriate time to cut the cord, you may want to wait 15 minutes, or half hour, or until the placenta is born, or until the umbilical cord naturally falls off days later (a lotus birth). However, no research has been done on the safety of leaving the cord attached to the baby and the placenta for an extended period of time.



If the infant needs immediate medical care that cannot be completed on or near the birthing person, delayed cord clamping may not be able to be performed.



And yes, delayed cord clamping can be done even if you have a cesarean!

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