Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Umbilical Cord Clamping Should Be Delayed, Says Expert

Date:
August 17, 2007
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord should be delayed for three minutes after birth, particularly for preterm infants, according to a new article. For the mother, trials show that early cord clamping has no ill effects, the doctor writes. But what about the baby?

Clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord should be delayed for three minutes after birth, particularly for pre-term infants, suggests a senior doctor writing in the British Medical Journal.

Early clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord is widely practised as part of the management of labour, but recent studies suggest that it may be harmful to the baby. The rate of early cord clamping varies widely in Europe, from 17% of units in Denmark to 90% in France.

So Dr Andrew Weeks, a senior lecturer in obstetrics at the University of Liverpool, looked at the evidence behind cord clamping.

For the mother, trials show that early cord clamping has no ill effects, he writes. But what about the baby?

At birth, he says, the umbilical cord sends oxygen-rich blood to the lungs until breathing establishes. So as long as the cord is unclamped, the average transfusion to the newborn is equivalent to 21% of the neonate's final blood volume and three quarters of the transfusion occurs in the first minute after birth.

For babies born at term, the main effect of this large autotransfusion is to increase their iron status. This may be lifesaving in areas where anaemia is endemic.

In the developed world, however, there have been concerns that it could increase the risk of polycythaemia and hyperbilirubinaemia (abnormally high levels of red blood cells and bile pigments in the bloodstream, often leading to jaundice). But trials show this is not the case.

For pre-term babies the beneficial effects of delayed clamping may be greater, he says. Although the studies are smaller, delayed clamping is consistently associated with reductions in anaemia, bleeding in the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage), and the need for transfusion.

So how should we approach cord clamping in practice, he asks?

In normal deliveries, delaying cord clamping for three minutes with the baby on the mother's abdomen should not be too difficult.

The situation is a little more complex for babies born by caesarean section or for those who need support soon after birth. Nevertheless, it is these babies who may benefit most from a delay in cord clamping. For them, a policy of 'wait a minute' would be pragmatic, he says.

There is now considerable evidence that early cord clamping does not benefit mothers or babies and may even be harmful, he writes. Both the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) have dropped the practice from their guidelines.

It is time for others to follow their lead and find practical ways of incorporating delayed cord clamping into delivery routines, he concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Umbilical Cord Clamping Should Be Delayed, Says Expert." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816193328.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2007, August 17). Umbilical Cord Clamping Should Be Delayed, Says Expert. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816193328.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Umbilical Cord Clamping Should Be Delayed, Says Expert." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816193328.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins