Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do we clamp the umbilical cord too soon? Early clamping may interrupt humankind's first 'natural stem cell transplant'

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
University of South Florida Health
Summary:
The timing of umbilical cord clamping at birth remains controversial. The cord has been clamped early to facilitate resuscitation and stabilization of infants. Now, a new review paper suggests clamping should be delayed in normal births to tap the physiological benefits of "nature's first stem cell transplant."

The timing of umbilical cord clamping at birth should be delayed just a few minutes longer, suggest researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair.

Related Articles


Delaying clamping the umbilical cord for a slightly longer period of time allows more umbilical cord blood volume to transfer from mother to infant and, with that critical period extended, many good physiological "gifts" are transferred through 'nature's first stem cell transplant' occurring at birth.

The USF review is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:3).

"Several clinical studies have shown that delaying clamping the umbilical cord not only allows more blood to be transferred but helps prevent anemia as well," said the paper's lead author Dr. Paul Sanberg, director of the Center. "Cord blood also contains many valuable stem cells, making this transfer of stem cells a process that might be considered 'the original stem cell transplant'."

At birth, the placenta and umbilical cord start contracting and pumping blood toward the newborn. After the blood equilibrates, the cord's pulse ceases and blood flow from mother to newborn stops. In recent Western medical practice, early clamping -- from 30 seconds to one minute after birth -- remains the most common practice among obstetricians and midwives, perhaps because the benefits of delaying clamping have not been clear. However, waiting for more than a minute, or until the cord stops pulsating, may be beneficial, the authors said.

Birthing methods have also changed over the last century. Throughout human history and currently in cultures and areas where delivering mothers squat to deliver, gravity helps speed the stem cell transfer. Today, the cord may be clamped early for a number of reasons, including the medical resuscitation and stabilizing of infants or the notion that delaying clamping might lead to adverse effects or, more recently, to quickly facilitate umbilical cord banking.

According to study co-author Dr. Dong-Hyuk Park, the relationship between cord clamping time and the transfer of stem cells needs to be understood through the early weeks of the perinatal period and the process of 'hematopoiesis,' the formation of blood cells that begins as early as two weeks into pregnancy. A transfer of pluripotent stems cells continues throughout pregnancy, however, and for a time through the umbilical cord following delivery.

"Several randomized, controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have compared the effects of late versus early cord clamping," said Dr. Park. "In pre-term infants, delaying clamping the cord for at least 30 seconds reduced incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage, late on-set sepsis, anemia, and decreased the need for blood transfusions."

Another potential benefit of delayed cord clamping is to ensure that the baby can receive the complete retinue of clotting factors.

Yet, there is debate and disagreement on early versus later clamping. The side favoring delayed clamping, the authors noted, cite the value of the infant's receiving umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived stem cells, known to be pluripotent.

"The virtue of the unique and immature features of cord blood, including their ability to differentiate, are well known," added Dr. Sanberg.

The researchers concluded that many common disorders in newborns related to the immaturity of organ systems may receive benefits from delayed clamping. These may include: respiratory distress; anemia; sepsis; intraventricular haemorrhage; and periventricular leukomalacia. They also speculate that other health problems, such as chronic lung disease, prematurity apneas and retinopathy of prematurity, may also be affected by a delay in cord blood clamping.

"There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection," concluded co-author and obstetrician Dr. Stephen Klasko, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine. "The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery."

The authors agreed that delaying cord clamping should appropriately be delayed for pre-term babies and babies born where there is no effort to bank umbilical cords, and for babies born where there is limited access to health care and where nutrition may be poor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of South Florida Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jose N. Tolosa, Dong-Hyuk Park, David J. Eve, Stephen K. Klasko, Cesario V. Borlongan, Paul R. Sanberg. Mankind's first natural stem cell transplant. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01029.x

Cite This Page:

University of South Florida Health. "Do we clamp the umbilical cord too soon? Early clamping may interrupt humankind's first 'natural stem cell transplant'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100524111728.htm>.
University of South Florida Health. (2010, June 7). Do we clamp the umbilical cord too soon? Early clamping may interrupt humankind's first 'natural stem cell transplant'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100524111728.htm
University of South Florida Health. "Do we clamp the umbilical cord too soon? Early clamping may interrupt humankind's first 'natural stem cell transplant'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100524111728.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
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