There are a few, and some are extremely important for preterm newborns!
Delayed cord clamping is the practice of doing just what it says: waiting to place clamps on the umbilical cord rather than doing it immediately after baby is born. Exactly how long the time period is from birth to the actual clamping is not strictly defined in delayed cord clamping, but most obstetric providers agree that delayed cord clamping constitutes waiting at least 30 to 60 seconds to clamp the cord.
Some benefits include:
- Decreased risk of anemia since the baby receives more iron-rich blood from the placenta.
- Fewer blood transfusions (since anemia is less likely).
- Fewer cases of intraventicular hemorrhage (or bleeding in the brain) in fragile preterm babies, which can lead to severe neurological and developmental problems.
- Increases the duration of immediate skin-to-skin and its many benefits.
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020