Delayed umbilical cord clamping beneficial for infants

Delayed umbilical cord clamping is associated with significant neonatal benefits, including improved transitional circulation and better establishment of red blood cell volume.
Delayed umbilical cord clamping is associated with significant neonatal benefits, including improved transitional circulation and better establishment of red blood cell volume.

(HealthDay News) — Delayed umbilical cord clamping is beneficial for most term and preterm infants, according to a Committee Opinion from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Maria A. Mascola, MD, from the ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice, and colleagues made recommendations on delayed umbilical cord clamping after birth.

The authors note that for term and preterm infants, delayed cord clamping seems to be beneficial. Delayed clamping is associated with increases in hemoglobin levels at birth and improved iron stores in the first months of life in term infants. This group of infants has a small increase in jaundice requiring phototherapy, and therefore mechanisms should be in place to monitor for and treat neonatal jaundice. Delayed clamping is associated with significant neonatal benefits in preterm infants, including improved transitional circulation, better establishment of red blood cell volume, decreased need for blood transfusion, and lower incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage. There was no association for delayed clamping with increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage or increased blood loss at delivery, nor was there any correlation with postpartum hemoglobin levels or the need for blood transfusion.

"Given the benefits to most newborns and concordant with other professional organizations, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends a delay in umbilical cord clamping in vigorous term and preterm infants for at least 30 to 60 seconds after birth," the authors write.

Reference

  1. Committee Opinion No. 684: Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jan. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001860.
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