New research has found that cutting the umbilical cord too quickly after birth could be harmful to a newborn baby.
It is a natural part of the birth process to cut a baby's umbilical cord, which is typically supposed to happen about two or three minutes after the baby is born. However, in a recent study, it was discovered that those guidelines are not necessarily being followed.
The study consisted of 3,500 parents in the United Kingdom who answered a survey about their child's delivery. 31% of those involved said that their baby's cord was cut immediately after birth. These results are disheartening considering the side effects that can arise when the umbilical cord is cut too soon.
An umbilical cord is a baby's lifeline when in the womb and it continues to provide life support for the child for minutes after the baby's birth. For example, it gives the little one oxygen. Therefore, if it is cut immediately and the baby has issues breathing he or she could be deprived of oxygen.
Cutting of the umbilical cord too soon can also result in a shortage of blood for the baby. When this happens, there is a 30% chance that the child will end up with an iron deficiency. Although an iron deficiency can be treated, it can also have a lasting effect on a baby in regards to physical, emotional and social functioning. The reason for this is that babies who suffer from this issue after birth may have poorer brain quality, according to The Conversation.
Immediate cord clamping will cause harm to the baby and disrupt the birth process. It is best to wait to cut or clamp until the umbilical cord is empty of any blood. Benefits of waiting include higher birth weights, less chance of infection, and a lowered chance of abnormal tissue growth.
Research changes all the time, so it is always best to consult with your doctor regarding your birthing plan. However, with all the talk of how long to wait before the umbilical cord is clamped or cut, it is best to ask that question. Don't be afraid to let your doctor know what you have read, as long as it comes from a credible source. After all, it is your baby, your body, and your delivery, so you should be in the know.