Waiting to Cut Baby's Umbilical Cord Could Have Major Effects Down the Road

newborn baby

Many moms know the benefits of delayed umbilical cord clamping -- it's a health boost for babies and despite what was once believed, it does not pose any risk to mom. Still, many doctors hurry to cut the cord right after baby is born and thankfully now science is catching up to what some of us knew all along. 

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A new study revealed that delaying cord clamping has lasting benefits we cannot ignore. It's more proof that we shouldn't rush anything when it comes to birth -- not even this.

Let's think about it this way. Baby is living in our womb for around nine months, connected to us by the umbilical cord. It is a baby's life supply. Imagine being born into the world, seeing the outside for the first time, and then having the previous life supply cut off right away. Seems instinctual to say that it shouldn't be cut too soon. Some moms want a few minutes, some want hours. If we listened to our bodies, all signs point to delaying cord clamping. (In most cases. Emergencies and special situations could change things.)

More From The Stir: Delaying Cord Clamping Explained! (VIDEO)

The research out now notes that the benefits of delayed cord clamping allows "more iron-rich blood from the placenta to reach the newborn." Natural birth advocates, midwives, and doulas have been noting this for some time. Iron helps the brain develop and aids with nerve and muscle control. Delayed cord clamping benefits continue well into our children's lives, and it's not just good for preemies, but for full-term babies as well. When the umbilical cord was left attached for three more minutes, it was found that those children has better fine motor skills when they reached the ages of 3 and 4. It also showed that 4-year-old boys were more social thanks to delayed cord clamping. Babies whose cords were not clamped right away were also 90 percent less likely to have iron-deficiency anemia as they got older. Delay it.

More From The Stir: Umbilical Cord Milking: Will It Help Your Baby?

The bottom line is that we shouldn't rush anything when it comes to birth. Nature tells us this. Our bodies tell us this ... if we listen. And studies are telling us this as well. Birth is a natural thing -- our bodies are made to create and nurture life. We have to allow our bodies to do the job it is made to do. And we have to give ourselves time, and our babies time. Delaying cord clamping is just one of those ways to honor what our bodies are capable of doing, and what our babies need us to do. This study says the benefits are there if we just wait a few minutes ... surely we have at least that time to give our little ones the best start.

What are your thoughts on delayed cord clamping?

 

Image via gregoryrallen/Flickr

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