Waiting just a few minutes to clamp the umbilical cord after a baby is born could boost iron stores in the newborns blood, but delayed cord clamping comes with an increased risk of jaundice, according to a new review of studies.
Clamping the cord within 30 to 60 seconds after birth is one of three steps in an active management approach to the third stage of labor, a time when a new mother is vulnerable to excessive blood loss. Studies show that active management reduces the risk for hemorrhage, but now lead review author Susan McDonald and other investigators are refining that research.
Weve started to ask Is it necessary that we do all three" Which part of this is most important" Did timing of clamping the cord make a difference" said McDonald, a professor of midwifery at La Trobe University and the Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne, Australia.
McDonald said of the studies included in the review: We found in terms of the amount of bleeding, delayed clamping did not increase the mothers risk of bleeding.
The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.
The review of 11 studies evaluates the maternal and infant benefits of delaying cord clamping until after the cord stops pulsing, a sign that blood is no longer flowing between the mothers placenta and the baby.
McDonald said in most cases the time difference between early and late cord clamping is just one or two minutes, but the delay allows for an additional infusion of blood from mother to child.
McDonalds analysis found that newborns in the delayed-clamping group had larger stores of iron in their blood. The amount of iron in the blood at birth can influence h
|Contact: Lisa Esposito|
Center for the Advancement of Health