No matter where babies are placed as they are born, there is little question that U.S. obstetricians and midwives will change current practices from immediate cord clamping to optimal cord clamping; it is just a question of when. I fully anticipate that within a decade, immediate cord clamping will no longer be a routine of third stage labor regardless of whether the baby is premature, full term, born vaginally or by cesarean. The evidence against this practice is too strong. Dr. Alan Greene is more optimistic and is calling for an end to immediate cord clamping, like, today! He says we can accomplish this with public health by participation. Please participate by asking your midwife or doctor to practice optimal cord clamping for your child and by sharing this information with your healthcare provider and your social network.
Editorial: Time to Implement Delayed Cord Clamping
In a strongly worded editorial published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Dr. Ryan McAdams recommends that babies should be held at the level of the introitus for vaginal births and on the mother’s thighs above the level of the uterus during cesarean births while waiting two to three minutes to clamp the umbilical cord. Dr. McAdams writes, “In term neonates, delayed cord clamping has been associated with decreased iron-deficient anemia and increased iron stores with potential valuable effects that extend beyond the newborn period, including improvements in long-term neurodevelopment.” He cautions that, “Failure to adopt beneficial practices, especially evidence-based ones, may constitute unnecessary harm. Reluctance to implement delayed card clamping nationally may place thousands of children born this year at unnecessary risk for neurodevelopment delays, cerebral palsy, and behavior problems.”He concludes, “For those privileged enough to participate in the birth of neonates, there is a need for increased appreciation and awareness of which precious minutes may count most.”