March 1, 2010

Savoring Those First Few Moments - Umbilical Cord Care

For hundreds of years, midwives have practiced delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord after birth. The delay has proven harmless to baby and mother and offered the benefit of allowing for additional bonding time for the family.

A recent study published in the American Medical Association Journal by a group of pediatricians suggests that premature clamping of the cord is actually harmful and delaying clamping may help prevent respiratory distress syndrome.

As reported in Time:
Delay allows a gradual change from fetal to regular circulation without putting stress on blood vessels in the lungs and elsewhere in the body. The carefree manner in which the newly born infant is "disconnected" from his mother, concludes the report, "is in sharp contrast to the meticulous care with which the thoracic surgeon separates his patient from the heart-lung machine."
Ask your health care provider about their policies on cord clamping and discus with them the option of delaying the procedure. There is no rush.

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