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Delayed Cord Clamping

Immediate or early cord clamping after birth is considered a common practice in today’s obstetric care. I question these practices because studies have shown delayed cord clamping can be of benefit for newborns. Delayed cord clamping can allow between twenty and fifty percent of the baby’s blood volume to return from the placenta after birth (Enkin et al., 2000). A study published in the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group found that early cord clamping compared to late cord clamping resulted in no significant difference in postpartum hemorrhage of the mother and that babies with delayed cord clamping had a higher birth weight, higher hemoglobin levels, and had a decreased risk of anemia later in life (McDonald, Middleton, Dowswell, & Morris, 2013). Another obvious benefit of delayed cord clamping is that because the baby is still attached to the mother, through the cord to the placenta, before the end of the third stage, it allows immediate and longer skin-to-skin contact just after birth if the baby is placed on the mother. Granted, there may be an emergency requiring an immediate cutting of the cord so the newborn can be attended to, based on the evidence, in a normal, safe, non-emergency birth, I believe delayed cord clamping is in the best interest of the baby and mother.




Enkin, M., Keirse, M. J. N. C., Neilson, J., Crowther, C., Duley, L., Hodnett, E., & Hofmeyr, J. (2000). The Third Stage of Labor. In A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth (Third., pp. 300–309). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McDonald, S. J., Middleton, P., Dowswell, T., & Morris, P. S. (2013). Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping of term infants on maternal and neonatal outcomes. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 7, CD004074. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004074.pub3

Paddock, C. (2013). Delayed Cord Clamping After Birth Better for Baby’s Health. Retrieved from

Posted in After Birth.

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