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  • "Eeyore" started this thread
  • United Kingdom

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Sunday, June 17th 2007, 9:32am

2 min wait to cut cord 'can give babies health boost'

Waiting two minutes to cut cord 'can give babies health boost'
Mail on Sunday

A brief delay in cutting a newborn baby's umbilical cord can significantly improve a child's health, a new study reveals.

Waiting just two minutes before severing the cord can halve the risk of serious blood disorders and have an 'important impact', on a baby's wellbeing.

The major study, involving more than 1,900 newborns, found the two-minute delay was enough to reduce the risk of anaemia by half and low iron levels in the blood by a third.

Most British babies have their umbilical cords cut immediately after birth. However, between ten and 20 per cent of women already ask for the procedure to be delayed for health reasons.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, will add weight to the theory that delaying is best for the baby.

Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of midwifery at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who carried out the research, said: 'The results of our study clearly show this reduces the incidence of anaemia and improves iron stores in newborns. And, more importantly, these benefits extend beyond the early neonatal period.'

During pregnancy, the unborn baby's blood circulates through the umbilical cord and the placenta - the temporary organ attached to the lining of the mother,s womb that provides the baby with everything it needs.

Delaying clamping and cutting the umbilical cord is thought to increase the newborn's blood volume by up to 30 per cent, by allowing the blood in the placenta to flow into the baby.

Medical experts have been divided over the best time to cut the cord, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists say there is no formal guidance for doctors and midwives about the best time to clamp.

Anaemia - a shortage of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin in the blood that causes paleness, tiredness, shortness of breath and can affect brain development - is relatively rare in British babies. And delayed clamping has previously been linked to an increased risk of jaundice, which in serious cases can harm the baby and affect the brain.

In the study, 15 previous trials on cord clamping were analysed from 11 countries. About half of babies had immediate cord clamping, while the rest had their cords clamped between two and three minutes after birth.

Although the researchers looked for health risks associated with the practice, the only one they found was an increased risk of polycythemia - an overproduction of red blood cells - but this appeared to pose no danger to a baby's health.

The researchers said: 'Late clamping of the umbilical cord is an inexpensive way of enhancing blood status, preventing anaemia over the first three months of life and enriching iron stores for as long as six months.

'Although this is of particular importance for developing countries in which anaemia during infancy and childbirth is highly prevalent, it is likely to have an important impact on all newborns.'

But Patrick O'Brien, a consultant obstetrician at University College Hospital, London, said any benefits of delayed clamping were likely to be slim.

He said: 'Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord isn't widely used in our practice. Until now, the advantages and disadvantages of delayed clamping have been evenly balanced although it is definitely beneficial if the baby is at risk of being anaemic. However, in general, any benefits are probably fairly marginal.'

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My journey has now ended. 6 babies in Heaven.

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Wednesday, July 25th 2007, 10:46pm

we asaked about this and were net with blank faces at the hospital -

the local midwife was very pro delay

unfortunately with twins - expediency seems to rule - and you may not get a choice !

but it would seem to make sense to let it pulse - like other animals - do !

good luck all expectant mums

DAD to twins



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Wednesday, July 25th 2007, 11:23pm

You won't get a choice if you've had syntometrine to quicken the delivery of the placenta as the drug has time to get through the umbilical cord. With a physiological third stage and after a normal birth, as long as everything is well with Mother and babe, there's no reason to clamp the cord straightaway. Every drop of blood is precious to a newborn and those extra mls can make a really big difference.

......Unless you have a natural third stage and request that the cord be left until it has finished pulsating and still your midwife 'forgets' and clamps it anyway :rolleyes:



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Thursday, July 26th 2007, 8:56am

I had to beat (or that is DP had to beat) the midwives off with the synto jab. They kept on trying to offer it to me.
Finaly the cord had stopped pulsating and they told me that I was loosing a lot of blod so they wanted to give me the synto. This was fine with me since the cord no longer had a function but when I read my notes afterwards I had not lost lots of blood at all!

ICSI Jan 2006 - BFP
MC one twin at 6 weeks
DS born in Oct 2006
BF DS 10 months 3 weeks and 5 days
FET 11/07, ICSI 12/07 (ABANDONED), ICSI 2/08, IUI 5/08 - BFN
Clomid IUI 7/08 BFP MC a twin... again :(

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Tuesday, August 7th 2007, 3:09pm

My sister waited until the cord had stopped pulsing with her babies and we plan to do it with Boo.
MC 1997, Ectopic 2006, Tubal infertility, 1st IVF :BFP: [zx098]



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Tuesday, August 7th 2007, 3:27pm

I had synto IV as I wasn't getting any contractions at all 5 cm dilated, but once Lolly was out I was stabbed in the thigh with another shot anyway without being asked :rolleyes:


4 baby angels, forever in our hearts


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Reg: Sep 13th 2006

Location: Hastings

Children: One daughter

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Tuesday, August 7th 2007, 3:31pm

It's awful not to be asked. I've put it on my birth plan just in case.
MC 1997, Ectopic 2006, Tubal infertility, 1st IVF :BFP: [zx098]

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Reg: Feb 28th 2007

Location: Central Scotland

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Tuesday, August 7th 2007, 7:09pm

V V interesting thread Eeyore. Thanks.

Metformin for 2 1/2 years
Clomid - 100mg for 6 cycles
Laparoscopy - 06 - normal
Feb 07 - unsuccessful IUI
May 07 - abandonded IUI - overstimulated
July 07 - IVF :BFP
15th April - my little miracle arrived