(KUTV)- After a baby is born, the next step is to cut the umbilical cord, right? Not necessarily. Delaying cord clamping can actually provide a number of benefits for baby. This means waiting 60 seconds for a term baby or 30 seconds for a preemie before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord.
“If you wait 60 seconds after the baby is born to clamp the cord, then 75% of the available blood in the placental circulation that’s available to be transfused into the baby will happen within that time,” says Dr. Chase Petersen, OBGYN at Intermountain Budge Clinic.
By giving a newborn some extra blood at birth, it reduces their chances of anemia and has shown to improve iron stores which affect a child’s growth and development.
“Preterm infants particularly benefit because they’re at risk for some pretty seriously complications,” says Dr. Petersen.
Common risks for preemies include: bleeding in the brain, digestive problems, or the potential need for a blood transfusion. Delayed cord clamping reduces all of those risks by about 25-30 percent which can be life-saving for some infants.
It’s a good idea to talk with your provider about the risks and benefits for your specific pregnancy and decide what is best for you and your child. There are some circumstances where delayed cord clamping is not possible or is not the best option. The most important thing before delaying cord clamping is making sure the baby is breathing and doing well after birth.
“Otherwise whatever small benefit could come from cord clamping would be overshadowed by the risks,” says Dr. Petersen.