You’ve probably heard the term “delayed cord clamping,” and you’ve probably heard good things about it! But what is it, exactly? And what are its benefits?
What is Delayed Cord Clamping?
Delayed Cord Clamping is the prolongation of the time between the delivery of your baby and the clamping of the umbilical cord. This delay could last anywhere from 1-5 minutes after your baby is born, or after the placenta is delivered. The World Health Organization now recommends DCC for all babies unless they need immediate medical attention.
As a doula, one of our goals is to give you the information needed to make an educated decision.
No, we can’t make the decision for you, but we go through a process that makes it easier for you to see the full picture. We use our BRAIN!
“B” - What are the Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping?
At any given time in utero, your baby has about ⅔ of its blood in its body. The other ⅓ is in the placenta. Delayed cord clamping allows the blood in the placenta to return to your baby.
The iron in this blood increases your baby’s iron storage, which is vital for healthy brain development. That also means there’s a decreased risk of iron deficiency and low iron side effects.
It increases red blood cells, blood platelet levels (which are needed for normal blood clotting), immune cells, and stem cells in your baby.
Studies have shown this may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment down the line.
“R” - What are the Risks of Delayed Cord Clamping?
Small studies have found there is an increase risk of jaundice - 5% of DCC babies versus 3% of babies with early cord clamping. This is because jaundice is caused by a breakdown of red blood cells, and babies will have more red blood cells after DCC.
“A” - What are the Alternatives to DCC?
Clamping the cord immediately after birth
“I” - Discuss the mother’s Instinct about DCC
“N” - What if we do Nothing?
In this case, a decision must be made in favor of either immediate or delayed cord clamping.
Using this method for delayed cord clamping, and any other decision surrounding your birth, is a great way to plan for all outcomes and understand your options.
You just have to use your BRAIN!