Delayed cord clamping is becoming the norm these days, but what is it? I hadn’t heard of it until I was pregnant with my second daughter.

I was informed about ‘delayed cord clamping’ by my independent midwife. She was fantastic and highly knowledgeable about this practice.

So what is it?

Delayed cord clamping is where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut until the cord has stopped pulsating or until the placenta has been delivered.

Research has shown that immediate cord clamping can have implications for both the mother and baby. The mother is at a higher risk of a potential hemorrhage, and having a retained placenta.

The implications for the baby is a possible low blood count and low iron levels. Babies are born with iron reserves which usually start to deplete after six months. Research has shown that a reduced blood count resulting in low iron levels may have an irreversible effect on the neurological development.

The placenta is actually classed as an organ. It is the babies life support system, along with the umbilical cord. All of which are contained in the amniotic sac.

The placenta is an amazing organ. If you ever get to see yours I do highly recommend it. I requested to see mine after I delivered it. It was amazing to see what actually keeps your baby alive whilst they develop inside of you.

The placenta attaches itself to your uterine wall usually around week 4. It has many jobs to do during its 9-month stay. It acts as a thermoregulator, eliminates waste, delivers nutrients to your precious baby, fights infection, produces hormones, delivers oxygen and diffuses the carbon dioxide. The placenta acts as a filter for the blood it receives from the mother and will only deliver the good stuff to your baby. Anything the baby doesn’t need goes back through the placenta as waste and then the mother will pass it out in her urine. It’s damn pretty clever, isn’t it?

I came across this website. According to Mark Sloan, M.D whether a new-born baby “is premature or full term, approximately one-third of its total blood volume resides in the placenta. This is equal to the volume of blood that will be needed to fully perfuse the fetal lungs, liver, and kidneys at birth”

Delayed cord clamping has many benefits which may be why it’s becoming so popular these days. Along with placenta encapsulation.

Delaying the clamping of the cord allows your baby to gain all of their blood back from the placenta. This blood is theirs anyway. The baby ultimately has a healthy blood volume and safe oxygen levels within the blood. Also, the baby would receive increased levels of clotting factors and stem cells.

This can be particularly crucial for the premature babies, having a healthy blood volume will give them the best start in life.

Whatever you choose for your baby. Please do your research and talk to your midwife. Make an informed decision.