Premature cord clamping

This is a great article, written by an Obstetrician, about what they call ‘delayed cord clamping’.  Its the practice of allowing the cord to stop pulsating after the birth before clamping it.  This was something I’ve seen midwives do for a long time, and was taught to me by my midwife mentors.

I was taught that it allows for oxygenated blood to continue to be perfused to the baby, giving the baby an easier transition to the world.  After all, bringing oxygen into the body through the lungs first happens at the moment of birth (or shortly thereafter), and initiates a number of physiologic changes in the body.  Why, then, cut off a known source of oxygen before the baby transitions and becomes accustomed to this new method of respiration?

Not that long ago there wasn’t a whole of research one way or the other.  But ultimately my philosophy, which is similar to most midwives, is that Nature knows.  Nature has allowed women to birth and the species to survive for many years, long before hospitals and doctors.  Therefore, I have to have a DARN good reason, and lots of evidence, to support interfering or intervening.

The article reminds doctors that delayed cord clamping is the natural way.  In fact, given the fact that delayed cord clamping is how Nature intended, I would call immediate clamping “premature cord clamping”.

Just as with episiotomy, premature cord clamping was introduced in the early 20th century and has never stood up to research.  There is now a growing body of evidence which has failed to support the intervention and is showing that it in fact causes harm.  Just like with episiotomy, I fear, change will come slowly.  VERY slowly.

Don’t take my word for it, do the research yourself.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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