The umbilical cord does not only physically link the baby to his mom’s placenta, it serves as the lifeline through which the growing fetus receives oxygen and nutrients.
The benefits of delayed cord clamping after birth has long been known, but a new study is providing more insight into the claim. According to researchers at the University of Sydney, delaying clamping the umbilical cord after birth for as little as a minute, or 60 seconds, ensures amazing benefits for both mother and child.
By delaying clamping the cord, the chances of premature babies to achieve a healthier birth weight are increased. What’s more, it helps elevate hemoglobin levels and prevent possible cognitive and developmental delays.
For moms, delayed cord clamping helps lower the chances of severe bleeding or hemorrahaging, which remains to be one of the leading causes of maternal death.
Because of this, health practitioners, including organizations like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are trying to establish the practice of delaying cutting the cord by 30-60 seconds after delivery.
Delayed cord clamping saves lives: Just 30-60 minutes is all it takes
The study’s researchers noted the aforementioned benefits by observing 3,000 babies born under 37 weeks in utero. What’s more, they found further proof that the practice poses no health risks for mothers and children.
They are confident that, once the practice becomes the norm, it could benefit even more preemies worldwide.
“We estimate that for every thousand very preterm babies born more than ten weeks early, delayed clamping will save up to 100 additional lives compared with immediate clamping,” neonatal specialist David Osborn, lead author of the study, told Babble in an interview, . “This means that, worldwide, using delayed clamping instead of immediate clamping can be expected to save between 11,000 and 100,000 additional lives every year.”
However, as with all procedures involving premature births, extra care must be taken. This practice has yet to be proven safe for preemies who are in need of emergency resuscitation.
For now, this is a great step forward in ensuring preemies get a fair shot at a healthy start to life.