What You Need to Know About Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed Cord Clamping has become a buzzword in the birth world, but what actually is delayed cord clamping? Let’s break it down!

The umbilical cord is the structure that connects the baby to the placenta and helps transport all the nutrients from the mother to the baby. After the delivery of the baby, the cord needs to be clamped and cut.

What is Delayed Cord Clamping?

Delayed cord clamping is when you don’t immediately clamp the cord after birth and allow some time before you clamp and cut the cord. Typically, most healthcare providers allow 30-60 seconds before clamping the cord.

But at Birth Center Stone Oak, we want to maximize the benefits of delayed cord clamping, so we aim to delay the cord clamping for at least 15 minutes to allow most of the blood to transfer back from the placenta to the baby.

What are the benefits?

Delayed cord clamping is now standard practice at many birth centers and hospitals due to the following benefits:

  1. It allows for the baby to receive back ⅔ of its blood supply
  2. They receive a year’s worth of iron stores
  3. Babies receive all their stem cells
  4. Prevents anemia in the newborn

When is it not recommended?

In certain conditions, you can’t delay cord clamping since it may put the baby or mother at risk. These situations can be:

  • An abnormally short umbilical cord that needs to be cut to prevent uterine inversion
  • A preterm baby that needs to be shifted to the NICU
  • A baby that has an infection
  • A baby that has polycythemia
  • If the mother needs urgent care or transfer

Birth Center Stone Oak’s Approach to Delayed Cord Clamping

As we mentioned above, we like to aim for at least 15 minutes of delay before clamping and cutting the cord. In some cases, we might leave it for up to an hour or until the birthing of the placenta.

We know that the transfusion is complete when the umbilical cord changes from being visibly full of blood to limp and white or after the placenta is birthed. But if our families prefer we wait even after this, we like to do this because there is no real hurry to cut the cord.

If you want to learn more about our approach to delayed cord clamping or other newborn procedures, send us a message!