What is it?
Delayed cord clamping is the process of delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord after birth.
Due to clinical benefits, your centre may implement the practice as standard already.
Consult with your clinical team about delayed cord clamping as part of your birth plan.
Clinical teams are also able to highlight contraindication around delayed cord clamping.
What is the process?
After the baby is born the main difference in the birthing process, is the increase in time duration the umbilical cord is kept intact before clamping.
Neonates may also be placed on a dedicated platform designed to support the baby with heat and oxygen close to the mother while keeping the cord intact.
Such platforms also enable the parents and baby close to each other as part of family centred care.
The exact birthing process and steps may vary from one centre to another. It is recommended that you consult with the relevant clinical teams on their exact implementation of delayed cord clamping process.
What are the benefits?
Delaying the clamping of the cord enables enough time for the baby to receive sufficient blood volume. Helps reduce the need for later blood transfusions, increase cerebral oxygenation, improve blood pressure, and increase iron towards better neurological development. This benefits sick babies and preterm babies the most.
Helps the baby experience a smoother transition towards their first breath.
Studies comparing births with immediate vs delayed cord clamping found babies in the later group to reduce the risk of death, risk of necrotising enterocolitis, risk of intraventricular haemorrhage and need for mechanical ventilation.
World Health Organization, 2014. Guideline: delayed umbilical cord clamping for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes. World Health Organization.
Madar, J., Roehr, C.C., Ainsworth, S., Ersda, H., Morley, C., Ruediger, M., Skåre, C., Szczapa, T., Te Pas, A., Trevisanuto, D. and Urlesberger, B., 2021. Newborn resuscitation and support of transition of infants at birth. Notfall & Rettungsmedizin, 24(4), pp.603-649.
Robledo, K.P., Tarnow-Mordi, W.O., Rieger, I., Suresh, P., Martin, A., Yeung, C., Ghadge, A., Liley, H.G., Osborn, D., Morris, J. and Hague, W., 2022. Effects of delayed versus immediate umbilical cord clamping in reducing death or major disability at 2 years corrected age among very preterm infants (APTS): a multicentre, randomised clinical trial. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 6(3), pp.150-157.