New Delivery Guidelines: Delay cord clamping for baby health

New Delivery Guidelines: Delay cord clamping for baby health (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A small change could make a big difference in delivering a baby.

Women's health specialists in the Tri-State area say they support a suggested change in guidelines to delay cutting the umbilical cord.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has just issued these new guidelines. It takes the standard immediate or short term clamping away and suggests people wait a bit longer before cutting the cord. The medical team and some new moms in the labor and delivery unit at UC Health said they agreed.

It appears after years of research the delay does benefit a baby without putting a new mom at risk. New guidelines for birth might give babies a tiny head start in life.

Dr. Amy Thompson, OB-GYN, said, “The new guidelines give us key information about how we should care for all vigorously born infants in the first 30 to 60 seconds of life; that we should delay clamping of the umbilical cord during that time frame.”

That is a change from a quick clamp off immediately after birth, which was done to reduce bleeding risks to the mother. But since medications for that complication have changed over the years the new guidelines reflect what Dr. Thompson says is the start of what's called the “golden hour” right after birth.

“So we know that that first one to three minutes is when a lot of the blood is still being received by the newborn from the placenta, most of it is happening in that first minute,” she said.

Dr. Thompson points out that this is simply an extension of much of what's been done in premature babies for quite a while. But officials are learning more about healthy vigorous babies and perhaps how this could make a difference in one specific nutrient. By receiving that extra blood from the placenta that extra blood baby will have decreased risk of newborn iron deficiency.

Iron is critical to carry oxygen in a baby's body to where it needs to go as well as for cognitive brain development, motor development, and other good developmental outcomes. Outcomes that can make a big difference in a healthy future.

It's important to point out that both the mother and the baby need to be in good health for the suggestion to be a good idea. The general rule is at least sixty seconds, in some cases it could go a bit longer if a mother requested that, but it's also important that it doesn't disrupt other things that are checked out right away such as breathing or the immediate skin to skin contact suggested for mother and baby.

If people have any questions about the delivery of their baby, make sure to talk to their women’s health provider.

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