As an expecting parent, you may be wondering about the best way to care for your newborn once they arrive. One area of care that has gained attention in recent years is the practice of delayed cord clamping. In this blog post, we’ll explore what delayed cord clamping is, why it’s beneficial for newborns, and what you can expect if you choose this option.
What is Delayed Cord Clamping?
Delayed cord clamping (DCC) is the practice of waiting to clamp and cut the umbilical cord until the cord has stopped pulsating. In a typical birth, the cord is clamped and cut within the first few seconds after the baby is born. With DCC, the baby remains attached to the placenta and cord for a longer period of time, allowing them to receive extra blood and oxygen.
Why is Delayed Cord Clamping Beneficial?
Delayed cord clamping has several benefits for newborns, including:
- Increased iron stores: The extra blood and oxygen received through DCC can increase a newborn’s iron stores for up to six months, which is important for healthy brain development.
- Better cardiovascular stability: DCC has been shown to improve a newborn’s cardiovascular stability, including higher blood pressure and better blood flow to vital organs.
- Lower risk of anemia: DCC can lower a newborn’s risk of anemia, a condition where there is a shortage of red blood cells, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other complications.
- Improved immune system function: The blood received through DCC contains important stem cells and immune cells that can help a newborn’s immune system function more effectively.
- Better developmental outcomes: Several studies have shown that DCC is associated with better developmental outcomes, including improved motor and cognitive development.
What to Expect with Delayed Cord Clamping
If you choose DCC, your healthcare provider should wait at least two minutes to clamp and cut the cord after your baby is born. The cord should have stopped pulsating prior to it being cut. Throughout this process, your healthcare provider will monitor your baby’s vital signs to ensure they are stable.
Delayed cord clamping is generally safe and does not increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage or other complications. However, in rare cases where immediate medical intervention is needed for the baby, DCC may not be possible.
It’s important to note that DCC is not the same as Lotus birth, which is a practice where the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates from the baby’s belly button.
Delayed cord clamping is a safe and beneficial practice for newborns that can improve iron stores, cardiovascular stability, immune system function, and neurodevelopmental outcomes. If you choose DCC, your healthcare provider should wait to clamp and cut the cord until after the cord is no longer pulsating and has turned white. Talk to your healthcare provider about DCC and whether it’s right for you and your baby.