The report from Sweden on the effects of delayed cord clamping was published November 16th in the British Medical Journal, and news article on this study continue to surface, most recently (and prominently?) in The New York Times. Researchers found that, at 4 months of age, those babies who had delayed cord clamping had higher iron levels and lower rates of iron deficiency. Arguments against this practice have included the fear that delayed cords clamping would lead to jaundice. This study found that such fears were unfounded.
Back in July, we attended the DONA International annual conference. We were very lucky to hear a talk from the very wonderful Penny Simkin about third stage management, which includes clamping and cutting the cord and the delivery of the placenta. She made this awesome video that shows what kind of difference waiting can make. It does a great job of showing just how much blood–a whopping 1/3 of the volume– the baby misses out on when you clamp the cord right after birth. If you need more visuals to see what an important process delayed clamping is, check out this series of pictures taken of an umbilical cord. And if you’re the kind of person to be interested in long journal articles, this paper is a really interesting read; it is on the older side, but it still raises many good points.
So, what do you think? Is this a case where research is catching up to common sense? Or is it to soon to tell and we should stick with old practices?