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Why the umbilical cord should not be cut immediately after birth

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Why the umbilical cord should not be cut immediately after birth

Generally, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut as soon as possible after birth. However, recent research has shown that delaying its cutting has numerous benefits.

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The practice of cutting the umbilical cord arose as a result of the belief that delaying the procedure would increase the risk of the baby becoming jaundiced. In recent years, experts have determined that, in fact, it poses no risk to the health of the baby, on the contrary.

The beneficial effects of delayed umbilical cord cutting can be seen in all babies, regardless of how they are born. It means that babies born prematurely, those who come into the world by caesarean section or the natural way, have to gain if they have a little umbilical cord left.

Premature babies have a better chance of survival

According to a study carried out by American researchers from the University of Missouri Health Care and published in 2020 in the “Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health”, it was found that, for babies born prematurely (more than three weeks before the due date), waiting for a minute after birth until cutting the umbilical cord reduces the risk of the child’s death.

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A few extra seconds of attachment to the umbilical cord and the placenta, by default, provide a vital blood supply that lowers the risk of serious health problems for premature babies.

At birth, premature babies may experience difficulty breathing, low body temperature, and underdeveloped organs such as the heart or brain. As they grow older, they are at increased risk of chronic conditions, cognitive and learning disabilities, visual, hearing and dental impairments. The extra supply of blood from the umbilical cord can save his life.

It provides the child with better health throughout his life

Delaying the detachment of the umbilical cord and the attachment of the baby to the placenta responsible for intrauterine growth gives the baby the extra time it needs to adjust outside the mother’s womb. According to Ohio State University researchers, the extra blood from the placenta increases its blood volume. This increased blood volume at birth lowers the risk of iron deficiency anemia.

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A one-minute delay in cutting the umbilical cord after birth was associated with increased iron levels up to six months of age, according to the findings of scientists from the University of Missouri. The extra blood the baby receives increases the baby’s blood volume, which also increases its iron stores. In this way, the risk of becoming anemic decreases as it grows and develops better. As iron is not transferred very well through breast milk, supplementing blood at birth by delaying umbilical cord cutting can make babies healthier throughout life.

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