Should Additional Time Be Given Before Cutting the Umbilical Cord

The miracle of childbirth is a wonderful event. Brand new parents are understandably excited to meet the little being that has been growing inside his mother’s womb. But for as amazing as this event can be, childbirth has its risks; which is why it is important for birthing centers to follow protocols that ensure the safety of mother and baby.

Part of these protocols may involve when it is safe to sever the baby’s umbilical cord. It is a necessary, yet symbolic event that is usually given to one of the parents. As a parent, you may not have any opinion about when it should be done, but a recent study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests that more time be given before the cord is clamped. 

Essentially, the study found that when additional time is given before the cord is cut, children tend to benefit.

 Researchers found that the additional iron that flows through the blood to a child can help in early brain development. This has been linked to a baby’s ability to adapt from life in the womb to life in the outside world. Further, children who had their umbilical cords clamped after three minutes compared to those whose cords were immediately clamped were found to have better motor skills as well as enhanced social skills.

Indeed, the study does not mean that birthing centers are not using reasonable care if they do not elect to wait to cut a baby’s cord, but it does suggest that birthing protocols may be ripe for change. 

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