Another Reason to Delay Cord Clamping

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Likely, you've heard the phrase "delayed cord clamping" -- it's the idea that all the blood in the placenta and umbilical cord should pump INTO the baby's body before the cord is cut, since it's intended to be the baby's own blood supply. Waiting just 94 seconds ups blood volume and helps prevent anemia in the baby's first year. While the benefits aren't very disputed, sadly, most OBs only wait an average of 17 seconds before clamping the cord.

Dr. Hutchon, a retired and decorated hospital consultant in the UK, invented (along with a team) The Basics Trolley. Basics stands for Bedside Assessment, Stabilisation and Initial Cardiorespiratory Support. This Trolley can save the lives of many babies, and help prevent a lot of temporary or life-long problems ... merely by allowing babies to remain attached by that umbilical cord.

It is set up right next to the mother and has a water heater and built-in resuscitator, so if there is an emergency, the baby can be resuscitated right there -- with the umbilical cord still attached. 

Why is this so important? Well, because along with the blood that the baby's body needs, also comes oxygen -- and in a baby who isn't breathing right away, that lack of oxygen if the cord is immediately cut can cause brain damage and sometimes even death.

Hutchon says, “In the first 20 seconds or so one of the reasons the baby is sometimes not breathing is that they are still getting plenty of oxygen from the placenta through the umbilical cord.”

Twenty seconds may not seem like that long, but for a mother waiting for the first cry, or a doctor holding a newborn that isn't breathing, it can seem like an eternity ... especially if the baby is deprived of oxygen. But thanks to Hutchon's invention, that's already being used at multiple UK hospitals, babies will still be receiving oxygen for at least the first critical minute or so.

In fact, evidence is so strong to support delayed cord clamping that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recently changed their recommendations to require delayed cord clamping, and Hutchon's trolley will soon be available in all hospitals in the UK.

Now, American ACOG, it's about time you get on board!

Did you delay cord clamping on your baby?

 

Image via rkimplerjr/Flickr

complications, delivery, labor & delivery, tests & procedures

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KWheels KWheels

I've never actually heard of delayed cord clamping, but my husband and I just tried to remember the birth details. My OB handed the baby to me straight away without much more than glancing at him. I held him for a couple minutes before they took him away to clean him/check him out while I birthed the placenta so I guess he got plenty of cord blood. :)

Pishyah Pishyah

Wanted to but OBs don't really care what moms want.

jagam... jagamama0710

Awesome! :) 


I didn't know about it with my first but we did delay her cord clamping. She was born in Germany so I'm not sure if that's just standard there but her cord wasn't cut for a minute or 2. :) 


I DID know about it with my second though and we delayed his clamping until it stopped pulsing. There wasn't any argument about it, though. I said that was what I wanted and they waited. 

nonmember avatar Bonnie

Yes, all 4 kids had their cord cut only after it stop pulsating, pumping blood. I had midwives for the first 3 babies and the 4th was delivered by an OB ARMY doctor (the midwives were not on duty that night) and she also waited to cut the cord. I didn't even talk to her about delaying the cut before I delivered, she just naturally waited -- I remember her feeling the cord to make sure it was done pumping. That was my only experience with an OB since the other babies were delivered with midwives. It seems like I got lucky.

popta... poptart0325

I had no idea about this but I'm glad I do now. I can't remember how long it was before they cut DD's cord. But I will keep it in mind for when we have our second.

Aislinn Kathleen Mary Bradley

didn't know about it with our DD, our first's cord was left for a few mins but this upcoming babe we're feeling a lotus birth coming on :) since we know and have looked into the numerous amounts of research on how harmful premature cord clamping is

tyrel... tyrelsmom

Definitely need to remember to discuss this at my next prenatal.

dixie... dixiechic88

it is stated in my birth plan that they are to wait until it stop pulsating to clamp and cut baring medical emergencies

MissMeg MissMeg

Never heard of it. I'm lucky my kids are 100% okay. For those babies that might have needed the extra boost though, this sounds like it would have made the difference. If I have another child, I will be asking the midwife to hold off on clamping for a few more seconds :) However, I think two might be my limit!

Emmoney Emmoney

My last was attached for 20 minutes before her cord was cut. It was a good thing for her as she was born floppy. I hope the ACOG gets on board with this here, but I am skeptical. They are in too much of a hurry.

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