The umbilical cord is the cord that attaches the fetus to a woman’s placenta during pregnancy. The cord is also responsible for supplying the baby with blood, and the necessary nutrients to sustain life while it is in the uterus. There is quite a bit of contreversy when it comes to when to cut the umbilical cord after birth. After a baby is born the umbilical cord is no longer required for the newborn to sustain life, but many parents debate on whether or not to cut the cord immediatly after the baby’s birth or delaying cord clamping for a short period of time.
Typically a cord is clamped around 20 seconds after birth, however, recent findings show that waiting to cut has some benefits. This practice is known as delayed cord clamping or cutting. This is essentially the prolonging of clamping the umbilical cord by 1-2 minutes. Waiting to cut the cord has said to be responsible for increased levels of hemoglobin, and iron in a baby’s blood, and even promoting physical, and mental capabilities later in childhood.
As with any decision there are risks involved. The risks of delayed cord clamping are an excess in red blood cells, and biliruben which can cause jaundice. These are usually not critical issues, but they do sometimes require a slightly longer hospital stay. When trying to decide when to cut your baby’s umbilical cord it is best to consult with your healthcare provider, and discuss any questions or concerns you have.