Ask the Experts
Umbilical Cord Clamping
Q: Should my doctor clamp the umbilical cord immediately after delivery?
A: Research shows that routine clamping of the umbilical cord immediately after birth, rather than waiting for the cord to stop pulsating, deprives the baby of red blood cells and iron stores. A literature review in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health looked at nine studies that had been done over the past 20 years. This research suggested that immediate clamping may reduce the amount of red blood cells a baby receives by 50 percent. By delaying the clamping, it was found that newborns received more blood flow to vital organs, had better blood pressure and respiratory capacity and needed fewer transfusions. Even with this research, many doctors clamp the cord immediately after birth, but if you feel strongly about it, talk to your doctor.