Pregnancy & Birth Planning- Delayed Cord Clamping | Doulas of Michigan

DOULAS OF MICHIGAN

DELAYED CORD CLAMPING & ACOG

A few days ago ACOG released their new recommendation regarding delayed cord clamping after birth. Let's discuss what their position is and learn more about delayed cord clamping! 

WHAT IS DELAYED CORD CLAMPING

Delayed cord clamping is the practice of waiting to cut the umbilical cord after birth. In recent decades delaying to cut the cord was thought to cause postpartum maternal hemorrhage. It quickly became routine practice even after studies proved there was no addition risk of postpartum maternal hemorrhage. Typically when delaying clamping and cutting the cord, providers or partners wait to cut until 30 seconds to 3 minutes after the birth. Some choose to wait till the cord has stopped pulsating and is white and limp. Others wait until the placenta has been birthed. And less commonly, families choose to have a full lotus birth. A lotus birth is when the placenta/cord stay attached to the newborn until the cord dries and falls off at the belly button. The placenta is kept on ice or salted to slow decomposing. 

BENEFITS OF DELAYING 

There are now commonly known benefits of delaying. Here is what ACOG said about the benefits for preterm AND full term newborns. 

  • Improved transitional circulation
  • Better establishment of red blood cell volume 
  • Decreased need of blood transfusion
  • Lowered incidence of brain hemorrhage and necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores for several months

RISKS OF DELAYED CORD CLAMPING

There are currently no known risks besides a small increase in jaundice. 

"There is a small increase in the incidence of jaundice that requires phototherapy in term infants undergoing delayed umbilical cord clamping. With that in mind, ob-gyns and other health care providers should ensure that the proper mechanisms are in place to monitor and treat it." - ACOG

In most situations delayed cord clamping will not interfere with skin to skin and early newborn care. 

THE AMERICAN CONGRESS OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGIST (ACOG) RECOMMENDATION 

"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends a delay in umbilical cord clamping for all healthy infants for at least 30-60 seconds after birth given the numerous benefits to most newborns." - ACOG

Learn more about delayed cord clamping and ACOG's recommendation here.