Feature image

Delayed Cord Clamping

You may have heard other women talk about wanting to “delay cord clamping”, or maybe you have read something about it.

When an infant is stable, and not in need of resuscitation, delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord for anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes or when the cord stops pulsating may have significant benefits to the newborn.

The first 1-3 minutes of life are a time of tremendous transition for the baby’s respiratory (breathing) and cardiac (blood flow through the heart) systems. The infant is taking his or her first breaths, the newborn temperature is stabilizing, and the way in which blood flows through your baby is adapting to life outside the womb.

If it is otherwise safe to place an infant on the mother’s abdomen without cutting the cord immediately after birth, several wonderful things can happen.

If your baby is doing well at the time of a cesarean birth it may still be possible to delay cord clamping for a brief period of 30 seconds. If this practice is something that you are interested in doing, you should discuss it with your provider during the final weeks of your pregnancy.

Dr. Cheryl Sharp, Chief Content Officer
Cheryl is a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner who has been caring for women, newborns, and families more than 30 years. She views the opportunity to journey with women through their pregnancy and beyond as a sacred privilege.