Clamping the Cord Immediately After Birth….What’s the Big Deal?

The baby is born, the caregiver clamps the cord right away, and you or labor support have the honor of cutting the cord….yeah, what's the big deal?

This practice of clamping and cutting the cord immediately after birth is something that is relatively new in the history  and until recently, completely unstudied.  Come to find out, by waiting a mere 10 minutes or so to clamp and cut the cord, you could be saving your baby quite a bit of harm. 

According to, clamping the cord too earlier puts your child at higher risk of:

• Autism
• Cerebral Palsy
• Anemia
• Learning disorders and mental deficiency
• Behavioral disorders
• Respiratory distress
* Jaundice

Immediate cord clamping at birth instantly cuts off the placental oxygen supply and the baby remains asphyxiated until the lungs function. Blood, which normally would have been transfused to establish the child’s lung circulation, remains clamped in the placenta, and the child diverts blood from all other organs to fill the lung blood vessels.

While most full-term babies have enough blood to establish lung function and prevent brain damage, the process often leaves them pale and weak. For premature babies, the process can be even more devastating. And no matter what, immediate cord clamping will cause some degree of asphyxia and loss of blood volume…

George M. Morley, M.B., Ch. B., FACOG

So how can you delay the clamping of the cord?  Easy!  Communicate with your caregiver before, during and after the birth.  Hiring a doula will also increase your odds of delayed cord clamping.  Also insisting that you hold your baby right away after the birth puts you in a more empowered position to protect your newborn.

For more information on newborn procedures, please visit


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