Time mag and cutting the cord

I read an article recently on Time.com about cutting the cord too soon. 

There are many reasons to delay cord cutting such as the baby gets off of his/her blood, there is less of a risk of anemia as baby, and baby receives more stem cells and an increase of antibodies from mom. But here is a new reason to delay cord cutting particularly in premature and cesarean babies; Its called “Respiratory distress syndrome.” RDS is the failure of baby’s lungs to expand properly

The article shares that most babies suffering from RDS are born premature, caesarean, or born of diabetic mothers. However, in the study discussed 129 babies were looked at. 41 had their umbilical cords clamped before their second breath, of those 21 experienced RDS. of the 52 babies the cords were clamped after and only 6 showed the same symptoms. concluding that a delay in cutting cord diminishes the possibility of RDS. The doctors are relating this to the “gradual change from fetal to regular circulation without putting stress on blood vessels in the lungs..”

The thought that my baby could be more at risk for fetal death due to RDS simply because the doctor rushed to cut his cord is a little nerve-racking to me. I wish i had known this the first time around especially since my son was a month early. But now I know, so when number 2 gets here I’ll be sure to delay cutting his cord. 

Need more reasons to delay cord clamping? Here are a few (taken from empoweredchildbirth.com):

“Deprivation of placental blood results in a relatively large loss of iron to the infant.” (1)

“Placental blood acts as a source of nourishment that protects infants against the breakdown of body protein.” (1)

“Studies have shown that immediate cord clamping prolongs the average duration of the third stage and greatly increases maternal blood loss.” (4)

“In order to give the newborn the blood that it need(s), physiologically cord clamping should be performed not immediately after birth. One should wait … until the umbilical vein has been empty and is collapsed.” (5)

“Normal blood volume is not produced by a cord clamp … Many neonatal morbidities such as the hyperviscosity syndrome, infant respiratory distress syndrome, anemia, and hypovolemia correlate with early clamping. To avoid injury in all deliveries, especially those of neonates at risk, the cord should not be clamped until placental transfusion is complete.” (2)

Early cord clamping may also be at least partly responsible for many of the cases of blood sensitization in Rh factor negative mothers, considering the blood is clamped off with enough force to create a brief “backflow” of the infant’s blood into the mother’s placental “wound.” 

Given all of this information why would you clamp the cord, why not let it keep pulsing? Even in the case of a newborn who has been delivered via c-section for whatever reason (emergent or not) or the one who needs medical attention, why deny them their complete blood supply and all the benefits that come with that umbilical blood, couldn’t that blood help save their life? 

Its food for thought I guess…….


2 thoughts on “Time mag and cutting the cord

  1. The most interesting thing about this Time magazine article is the DATE it was published. Unfortunately, not much has changed around here…


    • No not much has changed since that study was published but thats the point that evidence still holds true amongst other new found reasons and yet our OBs still continue to desire to cut the cut before the cord is done pulsing.


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