5 Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping

Heather Dessinger

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5 Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping - "“It’s incredible to see what a difference an extra three minutes and one-half cup of blood can have on the overall health of a child, especially four years later,” Dr. Ola Andersson told CNN.

“Cut the cord.” Before it was a catch phrase used to describe ditching cable companies and cutting off allowances, it was a moment. A touch point in every single one of our lives.

After a 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.

You see, the cord and placenta are a kind 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. (1)

When baby is born, about 1/3 of its blood is in the external part of the circulation system, but quickly makes its way to the baby via the umbilical cord.

Unless of course, the cord is cut before the transfer is complete.

Why cut the cord early? ^

Great question. Early cord clamping became standard practice in the 1960’s because it was believed to reduce the likelihood of postpartum maternal hemorrhage. Later research revealed that it does not reduce hemorrhaging or offer any other clear benefit, but the practice continued anyway. (2)

The reluctance to change, which doctors said in this poll is due to “Difficulty with implementation in clinical practice,”  – yes, really – has been frustrating for many birth advocates, especially in light of a growing number of studies suggest that delayed cord clamping has compelling benefits.

We’ll cover the top five today, but first you might be wondering . . .

What exactly is delayed cord clamping? ^

It depends on who you ask. According to the World Health Organization, delayed clamping is when the cord is cut 1-3 minutes after birth – a practice they recommend for all births.

However, some practitioners think the one minute mark is too early, and recommend extending the time to approximately three minutes.

In this statement, the Royal College of Midwives says that:

delaying for even one minute is a welcome change . . providing all babies with one minute of transition from inter-uterine to extra-uterine life. However as transfusion is known to continue during the first 3-5 minutes of life, it is suggested that this process is allowed to complete without being interrupted.”

And then there’s the perspective expressed by the International Childbirth Education Association, which is that “Delayed cord clamping (DCC) is a practice by which the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut until after it stops pulsating. It may also include not clamping or cutting the umbilical cord until after the placenta is delivered.” (3)

So what do they agree on? Why, that delaying is worthwhile, of course!

5 Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping - “It’s incredible to see what a difference an extra three minutes and one-half cup of blood can have on the overall health of a child, especially four years later,” Dr. Ola Andersson told CNN.

5 Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping ^

​Waiting to cut the cord can impact development, anemia risk, and more. Here are the most significant benefits we know of so far.

#1 – Neurodevelopmental Benefits

“It’s incredible to see what a difference an extra three minutes and one-half cup of blood can have on the overall health of a child, especially four years later,” the lead author of this study, Dr. Ola Andersson, told CNN. (4)

In the study, researchers found that:

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later . . . Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.” (5)

There is one caveat to these findings: The benefits only applied to boys. “We don’t know exactly why, but speculate that girls receive extra protection through higher estrogen levels whilst being in the womb,” Dr. Heike Rabe, a neonatologist at Brighton & Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom, told NPR. (5)

#2 – Decreased Risk Of Anemia

Breast milk is naturally low in iron, which has led some to suggest that breast fed children need to be supplemented with iron to prevent anemia. “At first glance, this seems like an error, given that all living things need iron,” writes Nina Planck in Real Food For Mother And Baby.

She add that “we must suspect a deliberate strategy on nature’s part. Sure enough, there is logic to the missing iron. E. coli, the most common source of infant diarrhea in all species, depends on iron, as do other pathogens.”

Now here’s where things get really interesting. Though excess iron in the digestive tract may not be a good thing, iron stored elsewhere in the body is critical for healthy brain development. (5)

The natural transfusion of blood via delayed cord clamping delivers a substantial amount of iron – one study found that waiting two minutes increased iron stores by 27-47 mg! (6)

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), waiting three minutes may prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life:

Physiologic studies in term infants have shown that a transfer from the placenta of approximately 80 mL of blood occurs by 1 minute after birth, reaching approximately 100 mL at 3 minutes after birth (16, 31, 32). This additional blood can supply extra iron, amounting to 40–50 mg/kg of body weight. This extra iron, combined with body iron (approximately 75 mg/kg of body weight) present at birth in a full-term newborn, may help prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life (33).” (7)

Can I just say that I am blown away by the intrinsic wisdom of our bodies? For the past few decades, we’ve assumed that nature made a mistake and therefore started children on iron fortified foods early.

Meanwhile, we left polysaccharides out of infant formula because they’re indigestible to baby and therefore useless. Only it turns out they’re not, they feed the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tracts, while excess iron may feed unwanted E. coli. That’s absolutely fascinating.

#3 – Increased Blood Volume / Smoother Cardiopulmonary Transition

According to Mark Sloan, M.D., whether a baby “is premature or full term, approximately one-third of its total blood volume resides in the placenta. This is equal to the volume of blood that will be needed to fully perfuse [permeate] the fetal lungs, liver, and kidneys at birth.

In addition to the benefits that come with adequate iron stores . . . babies whose cords are clamped at 2 to 3 minutes—and thus, who have an increased total blood volume compared with their immediately-clamped peers—have a smoother cardiopulmonary transition at birth.” (2)

Also according to this article, “‘Another potential benefit of delayed cord clamping is to ensure that the baby can receive the complete retinue of clotting factors.’ In other words, the increased volume of blood will naturally increase blood platelet levels, which are needed for normal blood clotting.”

#4 – Increased Levels Of Stem Cells

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.” (2)

Stem cells may also “help to repair any brain damage the baby might have suffered during a difficult birth,” Dr. Rabe (mentioned above) told NPR. (5)

#5: Better Outcomes For Pre-Term Infants

“Preemies who have delayed cord clamping tend to have better blood pressure in the days immediately after birth, need fewer drugs to support blood pressure, need fewer blood transfusions, have less bleeding into the brain and have a lower risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a life-threatening bowel injury,” continued Dr. Rabe. (5)

Is Delayed Cord Clamping Possible For Cesarean Births? ^

In some cases, yes. According to The American College of Nurse-Midwives:

The usual practice at cesarean delivery [c-section] is immediate cord clamping; however, infants born by cesarean can benefit from placental transfusion resulting from delayed cord clamping or umbilical cord milking. Researchers initially reported that placental transfusion did not occur at the time of cesarean delivery, but this was most likely associated with uterine atony and the use of general anesthesia.(21) In a small observational study, Farrar and colleagues recently demonstrated that a full placental transfusion does occur at cesarean delivery, but the optimal timing of delayed cord clamping remains unclear.(22) Ogata et al. reported that a 40-second delay in clamping provided the infant with a partial placental transfusion.23 Concerns were raised that blood would flow back to the placenta if the cord was clamped after 40 seconds, but this reverse flow has not been demonstrated.(23)

Another approach at the time of cesarean delivery is to milk the umbilical cord. This approach is ideal for cesarean birth when time and speed are important factors. In a small, randomized controlled trial, Erickson-Owens et al. compared immediate cord clamping with umbilical cord milking. They found less placental residual blood volume and higher newborn hematocrit levels at 48 hours of age in infants who received umbilical cord milking. (9) Delayed cord clamping and umbilical cord milking are approaches the clinician may consider at the time of cesarean delivery to facilitate placental blood transfer to the newborn.” (8)

What About Babies Who Need Intervention?

According to several sources (like this one and this one), resuscitation is less likely to be needed if cords are left intact. Many practitioners, such as neonatologist Anup Katheria, are actively looking for ways to resuscitate when needed without prematurely cutting the cord in order to move the baby.

“The practice of helping babies breathe while waiting to clamp the umbilical cord has been around for a long time; it makes sense for the sickest infants,” she told CNN. “We’re focused on producing evidence that shows the benefits. We think this could become the foundation for practice changing resuscitation techniques, transforming outcomes for the most critical of newborns nationwide.” (4)

Regarding this trend toward keeping the cord intact when resuscitation is needed, Midwifery Today writes:

The requirements of medicalized neonatal resuscitation are warmth, a firm surface, suction and access to the umbilicus. Other priorities include comfortable position for staff and the ability to draw umbilical blood for cord gas analysis. A warm firm surface can be the bed or surface where baby is born. In this author’s 2011 poll of 34 midwives from around the world, most reported that they perform resuscitation with the cord intact using the bed, side of a pool designed for waterbirth, part of an adult human body (mother or midwife) or a portable board with a warm pack.

Suction can be from a main hospital line, resuscitation machine or a portable unit such as those used at homebirths. The umbilicus is accessed to provide drugs and fluids. If the cord is left intact, then fluids are already being provided. Drugs are rarely required for resuscitation, and it’s likely they would be required far less often if cords were intact. Since extensive resuscitation is rarely required, can we not be uncomfortable once in a while, bending over the baby rather than performing resuscitation at our standing height? Even if one requires cord gases for medical reasons rather than protection from litigation, they can wait. Cord gas results don’t change significantly if taken immediately after birth or after two minutes of delayed clamping (De Paco et al. 2011; Asfour and Bewley 2011).” (9)

Are there times when providers need to cut the cord to initiate lifesaving interventions? Yes, says one of the most respected researchers on delayed cord clamping. (10)

However, some care providers believe that the cord and placenta have innate “resuscitation equipment” qualities worth considering as well. You can read about some of them here.

Are There Any Risks Of Delayed Cord Clamping?

One analysis found a very slight (2%) increase in jaundice among babies who received delayed cord clamping. (11) Jaundice occurs when red blood cells break down faster then the liver can process bilirubin, leading to excess levels of bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia). It’s treated by placing a phototherapy light over the baby to help break down bilirubin.

With that said, the very slight (again, 2%) increase in jaundice could potentially relate to other factors. According to the Thinking Midwife, “The only studies available involve the administration of an artificial oxytocic (syntocinon or syntometrine) in the ‘delayed clamping’ group. IV syntocinon is associated with jaundice. Therefore, it could be the oxytocic making a difference here – not the clamping.” (12)

Other studies, such as this Cochrane analysis, found “that the difference between early and late cord clamping for clinical jaundice did not reach statistical significance.”

Another concern sometimes mentioned is polycythemia, or blood that is too thick to properly oxygenate tissues. Researchers also looked at this issue in the Cochrane analysis I just mentioned – they did not find anything statistically significant.

What About Cord Blood Banking?

“Delayed cord clamping is not often compatible with cord blood donation or storage. The reason being is that in order for them to collect the amount of blood they want to store, some collectors will say that they need the cord cut immediately, and some . . . will only allow up to 60 seconds before they want the cord clamped. This is not long enough for most of the benefits to reach your baby. If you would like your baby to have it’s full supply of cord blood, you may need to reconsider you plans to donate or store cord blood.

From the above recent study (2010) the following comments were made on cord collection:

‘There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection,’ concluded co-author and obstetrician Dr. Stephen Klasko, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine. “The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.” So prevention is clearly better than cure – your baby will be better off keeping what is rightfully theirs.” (13)

Adding Delayed Cord Clamping To Your Birth Plan

As birth advocate Diana Korte once wrote, “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”

Creating a birth plan has many benefits, which I’ve covered here along with a resource for writing your own.

It’s a good idea to have a printed copy to go over with your provider before the big day, plus one to have on hand for your team during labor.

However, because cord clamping is often done automatically, care providers sometimes forget and cut the cord as a reflex despite previous conversations and/or written instructions. For that reason, it’s often a good idea to have an advocate such as a spouse or doula present to keep an eye on the cord just after the baby is born and remind the doctor if necessary.

mama natural birth class

Want to learn how to have an awesome birth without leaving your couch? ^

If you’re looking for an evidence-based, naturally-minded resource, I highly recommend the Mama Natural Birth Course and/or The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.

You’ll learn about:

  • Delayed cord clamping, which boosts baby’s iron stores by 30% and improves fine motor skills and social development later in life.
  • Skin-to-skin contact, which regulates baby’s body temperature and blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and helps initiate early breastfeeding.
  • Gentle cesarean, which can “seed” baby’s microbiome, eliminate fluids from baby’s lungs, while empowering the mama.
  • The importance of eating during labor, and so much more. 

Click here to check out the Mama Natural Birth Course.

Did you/would you delay cord clamping? Why or why not? ^

Gorgeous cord photos published with permission from Monet Nicole Photography (based in Colorado if you’re looking for an amazing birth photographer) and the mama photographed. ♥


1. Yuping Wang and Shuang Zhao (2010) Vascular Biology of the Placenta

2. Sloan, Mark (2012) Common Objections to Delayed Cord Clamping – What’s The Evidence Say?

3. International Childbirth Education Association (2015) Delayed Cord Clamping

4. Azadeh, Ansari (2015) The great umbilical cord-cutting debate

5. Haelle, Tara for NPR (2015) Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later

6. Chaparro, Camila et. al. (2006) Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping on iron status in Mexican infants: a randomised controlled trial

7. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2020) Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth

8. American College of Nurse-Midwives (2014) Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping

9. Evans, Angie (2012) Neonatal Resuscitation with Intact Umbilical Cord

10. Fogelson, Nicholas (2011) An Update on Delayed Cord Clamping, and Thoughts on Internet Expertise

11. Ghirardello, Stefano et. al. (2018) Delayed Cord Clamping Increased the Need for Phototherapy Treatment in Infants With AB0 Alloimmunization Born by Cesarean Section: A Retrospective Study

12. Midwife Thinking (2019) Cord Blood Collection: confessions of a vampire-midwife

13. Winder, Kelly (2018) Delayed Cord Clamping – Why You Should Demand It

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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64 thoughts on “5 Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping”

  1. Loved this. I’m never ever disappointed with your posts; great work! I have learned so much since having my son; if I could go back there are soooo many things I would do differently in terms of pregnancy and delivery. Would definitely delay clamping but the sad thing is, so many doctors wouldn’t give you much chance to speak up!

    • I’m with you, Leah! I learned new things with each of my three pregnancies and would definitely do a few things differently if I could. So glad you found this post worth taking the time to read. <3

    • I had my third baby at home in 1965 same as I had my first two at home no problems with the first two …on my first the cord was cut too soon and the placenta went back in ….I had to have the flying squad what they called them I’m those days to put me out and bring it away ….I was told not to have anymore children .I had been very lucky …..it scared me later hearing all this ..

      • The cord and placenta are designed to only flow one way. The only way the child could bleed out from the cord is if the cord is cut too close to the child’s body without first being tied off. Every person’s blood system has valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards in their body and the baby’s placenta and cord have these valves, too.

  2. Being pregnant my third time around 11 years later, my approach to this pregnancy is so different! I love this article and will definitely be talking with my ob/gyn on waiting to cut the cord! Thank you for posting this!

  3. Thanks a lot Heather for mentioning our research in your post, which I find very well written, meticulously researched and nicely illustrated. Your post will be a great source of information for expecting couples from now on.

  4. Sorry, it is from a different subject..
    Hi Heather, thank You for the information. I am going to buy a bed for my almost three years old baby girI. know you bought an intellibed four your babies, which one did you buy or would you suggest for my baby? Also what do you recommend for bedding and sheets? I want to create a nontoxic bedroom for my baby, thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!!!

    • Hi Blanca, the two older potami each have one of the twin-size children’s mattresses. The toddler sleeps with me – I have the extra soft one. 🙂

  5. Great article! I just wanted to add that we did 5 minute delayed cord cutting and were able to bank our stem cells just fine 🙂

  6. Hi Heather, I actually just asked my Dr. on Monday about it as I have read that it is the best for my baby. He said if I want to do the Cord blood bank we need to cut asap as they need the most cells and blood and he recommended it… But this is a person that doesn’t believe in midwives nor doulas… After reading this article I think I’m more interested and leaving the baby have his blood than the banking.. what do you think? I rather give him all the benefits right when born than having frozen blood for later when he gets sick no? Thanks for your opinion 🙂


  7. I don’t understand how 2 more minutes attached to the cord post birth makes a difference after months in the womb.

    • While in the womb about 1/3 of the baby’s blood volume is in the placenta at any given moment. Once baby is born, the uterus contracts to deliver the placenta, squeezing on the placenta to transfer that blood volume into the baby. It is a natural process that is cut short by clamping the cord early, which is now standard practice in U.S. hospitals.

    • Blood delivers oxygen. ….oxygen is needed for a well-functioning body….During the first year after conception, the human baby is developing at a PHENOMONALLY FAST rate. oxygen is crucial !!! you have heard, I hope, about the tragic consequences that can occur when the infant has her oxygen supply diminished even temporarily during birth? as happens with the cord wrapped around the neck, or a prolapsed cord? yes? you have heard of that ? the oxygen shut-off or reduction only lasts for a couple minutes but can cause brain damage that affects that person for years. see?….ALSO: during life inside the womb, you breathed water. Your lungs did not process air. AFTER being born, your lungs now breathe air. BUT — DURING the process of birth — the lungs are NOT YET at full capacity for this strange new thing called “air”. So, to deliver oxygen to the brain, the blood supply must stand in for the lungs temporarily…..okay then: this is why you do not want to diminish the blood supply [through the cord] in the first crucial moments of transitioning from a water-breathing being to an air-breathing being.

  8. Love the article. I have two boys – first one was a C/S (after planned home birth didn’t go according to plan) – I asked if they could delay but they said for a C/S they clamp and cut immediately because they have to take the baby over to the pediatrician’s station to get checked over. My second was a lovely waterbirth in a birth center and we delayed clamping for about an hour. It was a beautiful time. They are both happy healthy boys, thank God.

    • My midwife refused to delay cord clamping.. I had my baby 2months ago and I am still upset! Have you noticed any develomental difference in your boys?

  9. We did delayed cord clamping with all of our babies. The total time ended up being about fifteen minutes with each baby. We weren’t timing it, that was just naturally when we got around to it and the cord was completely empty, limp, and white with no trace of blood movement left in it. Cutting the cord has not been a priority in any of my births, so all of my babies stayed attached for a long time. My babies were all born at home though, which offered us more flexibility than you might have to fight for in a hospital.

    • I did the same thing Lori with my 5 home births. Unfortunately I wasn’t as educated the first time around with my hospital birth and his was cut right away. He was my only sick baby with ear infections despite the fact I nursed him for 2.5 years!

  10. Hi! I hope this can encourage someone. We were able to delay cord clamping even with an unplanned c-section. My husband is a witness. I’m really thankful that we were at least able to do that for our son. They also placed him on my chest after checking him and let me hold him while I was on the table. He had zero issues medically after the c section thank you God.

    • That sounds like a really supportive hospital!! Kudos to you, mama! And thank you for offering hope for c-section mamas. What hospital was it?

  11. I also delayed both of my children’s cord clamping until the cord stopped pulsing. We then collected the cord blood for storage and both times we had enough. I am in agreement that it is most important for the baby to get the cord blood and then if there is enough left to store, great if not, then ok. My children are now 11 and 7 and are happy, healthy, and bright 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this post. Your content is wonderful, informative and inspiring. 9 kids later… I look at pregnancy, delivery and mothering so differently that I did 24 years ago. My grandchildren will definitely benefit from what I have taught my kids. Keep up the great work!

  13. I birthed my daughter at home, and waited almost 15 minutes before clamping and cutting the cord. I was very lucky, because both my midwifes were advocates for late clamping, and therefore, there was no problems or objections to waiting for the cord to stop pulsing =)

  14. This wasn’t even on my radar for my first child but for my second birth, had the doc wait until the cord stopped pulsing. I think he thought I was wack, especially since he was a big proponent of cord blood banking. At one point, when I told him that delaying the cutting was like the baby’s first stem cell infusion, he even wrote something down. Maybe I changed his mind a little? It was that or he was reminding himself I was the patient with kooky requests, lol. Now that more information is coming out in the mainstream I feel vindicated and so happy I did my research and stuck to my guns.

  15. We delayed cord clamping an hour or so with my son, who was birthed at home. He has been very healthy although he had significant jaundice and we had to have phototherapy in the hospital for several days within his first week of life. I always wondered if the delay caused polycythemia, causing jaundice. But I would definitely choose to delay again!
    Thank you,
    Ashley D

    • Any clamping and then cutting the cord will risk the child to blood infections, through the cut cord. The first indicator may be jaundice, and if you breast fed, as best fed, the yellow colostrum colors the blood, and this is harmless. Some medical persons are not too clean when clamping the cord, or their clamping and cutting tool may not have been properly sanitized. The cord must be sanitized where it will be clamped, tied and then cut. In the past they used Iodine to sanitize before an amputation of any kind, and on the equipment, too. What do you think the boiling water was used for, if not to sanitize cutting tools?

  16. I had a home birth and had delayed cord clamping. My sister is pregnant with her first right now. I attended their 20 weeks appointment with she and her husband the other day and her OB said they don’t like to delay it too long because it can cause jaundice. Oddly enough, my LO had jaundice. I had *never* read any negatives to delayed cord-clamping and I’m still an advocate to delay cord-clamping.
    Anyway, their OB said she would wait 30 seconds to a minute as the “delay” WHAT! I thought it was nuts and didn’t say anything because hello, she knows what she knows and it’s unlikely she’d listen to what I had to say anyway, lol.
    I am SO happy to have come across this information. I’m sending it to my sister right now! 😀 They’re now planning to have a home birth too. Yay!

  17. Great article. I wanted delayed clamping/cutting with both my boys, but both had the cord wrapped around their neck multiple times and it was cut before they were fully delivered. My youngest even had some petechial bruising because it was so tight. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do, despite all plans to the contrary.

    • I am of the opinion that even with a tight cord around the neck, the whole baby should be born, then the cord unwrapped. The baby is yet getting oxygen through the unclamped cord as they do not breathe through their lungs, not yet expanded. All babies are born bluish in color, so that, too, is no good excuse for premature cord clamping. It is a false medical defense to use a cord around the neck for premature clamping and then cutting. The only facts for any man-cord-compression is for a torn cord or a knife in the cord. All other reasons are questionable practices, even to clamp and cut for any oxygen revival. All revival of any compromised birth should be on the unclamped cord, meaning a qualified person and equipment already in the birth room, for unexpected situations. All emergency anbulance medics should know this information, too.

  18. I would definitely have this written down and make sure if you are having a baby, to let your Dr./ team know your wishes, this is a wonderful discovery, and why not, let your baby get used to the outside world attached to where is has grown, before you take it’s like support away. We have learned so much since I had my babies in the 70’s. bravo !

  19. So excited to find such good information! My youngest is 15 and we’re trying for baby number 3! I had one emergency c-section and one planned. I’m unsure yet if we’ll plan a third or try for a vbac but delayed clamping is something I plan on being adamant about.

  20. I just wanted to say a big thanks for writing on all of these issues! I’m pregnant for the first time, and when my midwife told me to start formulating a birth plan I can’t imagine what my face looked like. There are so many things I’ve yet to learn to even include in this plan! So I’m very grateful to you for putting this information out there for women like me to gain easy access to it. Thank you!

  21. My midwife refused to DCC 2 months ago. I feel guilty for not giving my baby his oxygen. Is there anything I can do to compensate for his loss? I want a smart healthy baby. I plan on breastfeeding for 2 years and I eat alotta coconut oil. Is there anything else I can do?

  22. Excellent article Heather. Thank you. Premature cord cutting is probable the biggest medical scandal yet to be exposed to the wider public. We have been aware of this since the 1970’s when Dr Frederick Le Boyer wrote ‘Birth Without Violence’ and we would show the film about the ‘Leboyer Method’ which included leaving the cord until it stopped pulsating which was usually about 20mins. My own research took things further so that now we know that the placenta is important for the baby until the cord drops off naturally between 2-8days . I’d like to send you a copy of the second edition of Lotus Birth. Please email me where to post it to.Love and blessings

  23. Heather. i am a midwife from England, with a long term vision for optimal cord clamping for all babies in the world one day, especially the the compromised baby. Our hospital in England is one of the first to use the life start resuscitare to enable resuscitation with an intact cord as standard. (although we still have a long way to go to convince everyone).
    Things are changing and this will come one day, much to the disappointment of the stem cell storage companies (I hope).
    Just wanted to say what a well written article from someone not working in the field as such, even a comment for Ola Andersson!! You should be proud of what you have put together here. you have done your homework!
    Sadly even with the wealth of increasing evidence available, the practice is still slow to change, but this is a great source for not only women to use but practitioners too!
    We have a campaign slogan, “wait till white” . In reality this means wait till after placental delivery, as the placenta still pulsates on its own in the dish, away from the woman, if you let it. its a little organ in its own rite! I believe even at section, there is no reason why a manual removal of placenta (while still attached to baby) can not be conducted to enable continuation of operating procedures, Then the baby can be separated later. Here is hoping.
    well done.

  24. I am a nurse in an intensive care nursery. If you want to delay cord clamping for your healthy, full-term baby, that’s totally your choice. But do not tell me that I have to a a resuscitation on the mother’s bed!! If you want to take home a live, healthy baby give us the space to do what needs to be done!!!!

  25. Great article but we need to change the language. “Delayed cord clamping” implies immediate is the standard. I use the terms “premature” and “physiologic”.

  26. Hi I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second baby. Just found out that the umbilical cord has been stuck around the baby’s neck. Is it normal. What can I do to reverse this and have a natural delivery like with my first?

  27. Excellent. We need support at the Petition to the United Nations, “Stronger babies by not clamping the umbilical cord.” The premature cord clamping may have a devious motive to gain placental blood for selling it on the open blood market. According to the Lippincot Nurses Practice up to 60 percent placental blood volumne may be deprived the infant by unnecessary premature cord clamping. All premature clamping is any time period before the placenta is birthed, and all pulsation ceased in the cord. Mothers should be informed of a time period allowed of at least 20 minutes. Ref. Dr. MAVIS GUNTHER, UK.

  28. Hello, I am a nursing student and am doing a presentation on delayed cord clamping. I was wondering if I could use the photos you have on this post in my presentation. They will not be published or anything, just put on a poster board at the school. No worries if you are not comfortable with it, I just thought I would ask.
    Thank you,

  29. Hi Heather,
    Great article! What is the minimum amount of time we should keep the cord conmected before clamping enough to get benefits for the baby? Thanks ?

  30. Hello, thank you for your wonderful research. I don’t think the link to the Birthing Plan Template is working and I’m very interested in having something like that. I had a successful home birth for my first baby, but am living in an extremely rural area now; I doubt whether I’ll find a midwife near me next time I’m pregnant and I’m definitely nervous about giving birth in a hospital. Thank you!

  31. I studied Obs-Gyn during a period in the 1970s when the extra blood being delivered after birth was treated as practically toxic, due to the fear of jaundice (neonatal icterus) mentioned in the article above. We actually wanted to decrease the baby’s hematocrit and thus diminish the load of bilirubin (and as a side benefit, iron) needed to dispose of in the initial weeks post-birth. Counter to previous practice, wherein the newborn was held below the vagina to get the help of gravity in draining the blood from the placenta, we were to get the baby above that level ASAP (such as on mommy’s tummy) and then clamp off the placenta quickly after or even before delivering the afterbirth.

    A lot of things we were taught in obstetrics & pediatrics have been disproven since then. For instance, although most practitioners had no opinion on which, if any, sleeping position would diminish the incidence of sudden infant death, of those who did have one, prone was preferred — which was plausible since supine in adults increases snoring (and, as now known, obstructive sleep apnea); research not long after showed supine to be much better. MgSO4 injections, then strongly believed to be helpful to prevent pre-eclampsia from progressing to eclampsia, were later found useless. Gestational diabetes, then thought by most to be harmless, though an indicator of predilection to later development of frank diabetes, was later found to be harmful in the present pregnancy.

  32. Hi im a midwife i read your information about delyed cord clamping and beniffits thanks a lot i will do it in my hospital for all delivery and i will teach to all midwifes thank you very much

  33. I clicked on the link for “birth plan template” but it seemed to take me to something else. Is there some other way I can get to that template? Thanks

  34. This study doesn’t mention if it controled for socio-economic status? That would have a much greater long-term impact not to mention those in a higher bracket would have more access to and understanding of this type of information.

    I’m not against cord-clamping (I did it with my daughter and she did end up with Jaundice) but I am against drawing conclusions from partial data.

  35. Thank you for such a thorough and well-researched article. As I remind myself of notes to be aware of for the birth of my fourth child, I have been sending my research to a first-time pregnant friend of mine who is very frightened of the whole process. Thank you for providing a logical and positive article for me to send along.

  36. Hi Heather! I love your blog. I find this topic very interesting. I have 4 children, ages 9-2. My oldest two had their cords cut very soon after birth, the third was slightly longer, but still very soon afterward. For the 4th, we specifically requested they wait, so his was cut after the placenta was delivered and after the cord stopped pulsating. We also chose not to vaccinate him because of issues with the other children. There is just something different about him and always has been. He is almost 3 now and is calmer, and now that he’s talking, he just blows me away. He has the best manners – please, thank you, ma’am, etc. and has formed friendships with children where all of my other children struggled. My other kids barely say please and thank you, and mostly only when prompted. Most people write it off as him just being the 4th child, but I can’t help but wonder what, if any, damage my other kids have suffered because of early cord clamping. They are all socially challenged to some degree, and with my 4th child I can just tell the difference. So my question for you is, in all of your research, have you run across anything to reverse the effects of early cord clamping? Thank you!

  37. I wish you’d call it optimal cord clamping rather than delayed which implies going against advice. Optimal – at the right time.

  38. I delivered via c-section at 28 weeks due to preeclampsia (they preferred to let her stay in for as long as possible rather than try to induce her before I was unstable) and had assumed that delayed cord clamping wasn’t possible in those circumstances (since obviously baby is in a very vulnerable position at that age), but was delighted to learn well after the fact that my hospital practiced delayed cord clamping as a matter of course for every single baby. She did have a lot of jaundice — needing three bili lights for a week or so, but the neonatologist said that that was expected both due to the delayed clamping and because she had extra blood from the preeclampsia. So there’s all sorts of circumstances in which a hospital can delay cord clamping!

  39. The foolishness of having to do a clinical study to change practices that fly in the face of evolution and intuition needs to stop. If they want to clamp the cord PREMATURELY, they need to PROVE IT DOES NOT REDUCE OUTCOMES IN ANY WAY. Otherwise, follow mammalian practices of letting cord remain attached for 15 minutes or more.

    If you think this isn’t connected to a) convenience for busy medical staff and b) MORE RECENT MORE POWERFUL INCENTIVE TO RETAIN AS MUCH CORD BLOOD TO INCREASE STEM CELL YIELD FOR RESALE, please wake up. Most Hospitals are FOR-PROFIT BUSINESSES with VPs compensated and promoted based on their ability to capture profit from patients while maintaining and half-way decent (but by no means opimal) safety profile. It’s NOT about YOUR BABY’S BEST OUTCOME.

    This isn’t some radical idea, this is simple reality from someone who has been there. Ask a nurse with 10 or more years experience. They’ll tell you if they are honest.

  40. I had my first 2 children in the hospital in the 1970’s. Very barbaric experiences and my children’s cords were cut immediately. I was gassed and out, so knew nothing about it at the time. Because of all the abuse that happened to my babies and myself I made up my mind any other children would be born at home. I ended up having 6 home births for 6 lovely, healthy babies.
    Those born at home did not have their cords cut until their cords were cold and very white- all blood in baby first. No problems of any kind.
    Just a note- I was present when one of my daughters had her baby (her husband was in Afghanistan) and she had a very well-written birth plan which included delayed cord cutting until all blood went into the baby. The doctor who delivered her baby made an excuse to cut the cord within 1 minute and I caught her harvesting the rest of the cord blood when she turned her back on us to do it (very sneaky!!!). When confronted she made an excuse. It pays to be very diligent.
    The USA treats pregnancy, labor and birth as a disease that must be managed. Too many women end up with C-sections, much which I believe is caused from all the ‘managed care’.
    The very best place for most women to birth is either at home or in a birthing center with a midwife.