Benefits of Waiting on the Umbillical Snip

Through labor and delivery there’s so much going on that you may not be in tuned to every little detail around you. After all, you just gave birth to another human being. You’re excited, exhausted, emotional, and probably in a little discomfort. So, things like the timing of when your baby’s umbilical cord is cut may go unnoticed.

But, a new study shows that detail could impact your baby’s development and health down the road. Researchers found that waiting a few minutes to cut and clamp the umbilical cord allows more blood from the placenta to reach your newborn. That blood is filled with iron, which is crucial to any baby.

So much emphasis is put on iron because it helps your baby grow and develop. Researchers in this new study say the majority of babies who become iron deficient had their umbilical cords clamped quickly. By waiting about three minutes to clamp the cord, researchers now say those babies had better motor skills once they got to pre-school.

Clamping the umbilical cord too soon could affect motor control which is associated with things like holding a pencil. That, of course, impacts how soon a child can write letters as well as his or her name. Some say the timing of the clamping can even affect social skills. You probably never thought so much could be linked back to the umbilical cord!

While this study urges parents to wait to clamp, some researchers say the timing of when to clamp the umbilical cord needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Things like the baby’s and mother’s condition need to be taken into account.

If you’re pregnant, you may want to discuss these new findings with your doctor and see if delayed cord clamping is right for you. Together you can determine what’s best for you and your baby.