5 Benefits of Delayed Cord Cutting
Delayed cord clamping is becoming more commonplace in a lot of hospitals and it is a preference that people often include on their birth plans, but why? What is the benefit of waiting a few extra minutes to clamp and cut the cord, vs doing it immediately following birth? There are a number of evidenced-based reasons to delay cutting the cord, but they all basically boil down to this:
When your baby is in utero they are receiving a constant supply of blood through the placenta and umbilical cord. The blood present in the umbilical cord and placenta at the time of birth is the blood that your body meant for your baby. It is an iron source, an oxygen source, and an immune factor. So, ensuring that your baby can get as much of those benefits as possible, helps give them the boost and stability that they need to not risk starting life with a potential deficit that they have to overcome.
Logistically, even just 5 minutes of delay is usually enough for the baby to get these benefits. Most placentas begin to detach around the 7-10 minute mark. Baby will be born and brought to mom's chest where they can be evaluated for their APGAR score, suctioned if needed, dried off and wrapped up. Once the cord has stopped pulsing a few minutes later t can be clamped and cut just as it would be otherwise. So, as long as mom and baby are doing well, delayed cord clamping really only means the difference of a few minutes- logistically. For more info on the benefits and research behind delayed cord clamping see this article by Nicholas Fogelson on the site Academic OB/GYN.