DELAYED CORD CLAMPING – WAIT FOR WHITE
After baby is born we usually think of the umbilical cord as a relic – part a life support system that is no longer needed. But the reality is that the cord has one last job to do, and it’s a big one.
The cord and placenta are a sort of external circulation system: one vein carries oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the placenta to the baby, and two arteries carry carbon dioxide rich blood and waste away from baby to the placenta for purification. When baby is born, about 1/3 of its blood is in the external part of the circulation system, but quickly makes it’s way to the baby via the umbilical cord. Unless of course, the cord is cut before the transfer is complete.
Delayed umbilical cord clamping (DCC) allows more blood to transfer from the placenta to the baby, increasing the baby’s blood volume by up to a third.
The iron in the blood increases the newborn’s iron storage, which is vital for healthy brain development.
Some new studies have found that DCC can have a positive effect on both preterm and full-term babies. These benefits include an increase in placental transfusion, a 60% increase of RBCs and a 30% increase in neonatal blood volume.
Another advantage of DCC is the decreased risk of iron deficiency anemia.
The extra blood at birth helps the baby to cope better with the transition from life in the womb, where everything is provided for them by the placenta and the mother, to the outside world. Their lungs get more blood so that the exchange of oxygen into the blood can take place smoothly.
Delayed clamping also results in an infusion of stem cells, which play an essential role in the development of the immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems, among many other functions. The concentration of stem cells in fetal blood is higher than at any other time of life. ICC [immediate cord clamping] leaves nearly one-third of these critical cells in the placenta.
Stem cells may also help to repair any brain damage the baby might have suffered during a difficult birth. 📸 @monetnicolebirths