Waiting a few minutes to clamp a newborn’s umbilical cord can have significant health benefits, and yet the debate of early vs. delayed cord clamping rages on. What’s the big deal? Dr. Mark Sloan explains and shares what the evidence says.
What we talked about:
- How much time are we talking about?
- Who started this immediate cord clamping practice, anyway?
- What does Darwin’s grandfather have to say on the matter?
- The placenta is your baby’s fetal lung!
- How would you handle having a third of your blood volume outside of your body?!
- The benefits of delayed cord clamping (a.k.a. physiological cord clamping)
- Delayed cord clamping can help your baby learn to breathe
- The brain needs iron to grow and develop; breastmilk has very little iron
- Newborn iron deficiency is a thing
- Delayed cord clamping and cord-blood banking
- Positive and negative consequences of immediate cord clamping vs. delayed cord clamping
- What are the consequences to the mother?
- Do you have to keep the baby below the placenta?
- What about “milking” the cord?
- New developments in resuscitation with an intact cord
- New and important research against immediate cord clamping
Links for more on delayed cord clamping:
- ACOG’s Committee Opinion bulletin on “Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth”
- “Optimal timing of cord clamping for the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia in infants”, from the World Health Organization
- ACOG Revises Recommendations on Delayed Cord Clamping – A Step in The Right Direction or Not Enough?, Science and Sensibility blog; there’s a great list at the bottom of articles where Science and Sensibility has previously covered the topic, along with two articles written by Dr. Sloan)
- Optimal timing of cord clamping for the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia in infants, from the World Health Organization
- The Truth About Delayed Cord Clamping, from Mother Rising
- Umbilical clamping: how long after birth should the cord be cut?, from Wideacademy
- Penny Simkin’s video demonstration on delayed cord clamping
- Timing of Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping (TICC TOCC) initiative by Dr. Alan Greene
- “Hey doctor, wait longer to cut the umbilical cord!” – Dr. Alan Greene at TEDxBrussels (video)
- Older articles:
- The benefits of delayed cord clamping: New evidence by Dr. Mark Sloan
- The new research on Effect of Delayed Cord Clamping on Neurodevelopment at 4 Years of Age and NPR’s article about it.
- And if you want to go all out – there is a thing called Lotus Birth
An image of how the cord visually changes as it stops pulsating after 5 minutes (or more):
Related Birthful episodes:
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About Dr. Mark Sloan
Mark Sloan, M.D. has been a pediatrician for more than 30 years. Trained at the University of Michigan, he practiced with Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento and Santa Rosa, California, from 1982 to 2014. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and teaches pediatrics and reflective writing at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. In 2015, Mark earned a Masters in Public Health degree, with a concentration in maternal-child health, from the University of Minnesota.
Mark is also a writer—his book, Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth, was praised by The Washington Post, The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The International Journal of Childbirth Education, among many other publications, and was a 2010 Northern California Book Awards finalist. Translated into Japanese as Baby Science, Birth Day was named a “Top 10 Science Book of 2010” by the Japan Economic Times.
Mark lives in Santa Rosa California with Elisabeth Chicoine (pronounced “Schick-WAHN”), his wife of 30+ years. They have two grown children.
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