Premature Cord Clamping and Birth Injuries

Why This Became a Common Practice

Why did early umbilical cord clamping become a standard practice among doctors starting in the 1960s? They began this because it was believed that newborns had 90 percent of their necessary blood volume after taking their first couple of breaths. However, ongoing research has revealed that this may not be the case for every newborn. In fact, it could even be detrimental to the health of some newborns for the cord to get cut too early.

Why It May Be Beneficial to Wait with Cord Clamping

Along with improving the blood levels and the child’s iron, there are plenty of reasons that you don’t want premature cord clamping to occur. First, it decreases the risk of infant sepsis, which can be deadly, by 29 percent. Second, the child will have a higher birth weight. Third, you lower the risk of intraventricular hemorrhaging by as much as 59 percent. All of this matters because when these issues occur, they can have a seriously negative impact on your child. If your doctor prematurely clamped the cord, it could lead to a birth injury for your child that will last for the rest of their life.

What are the Dangers?

There are a few dangers that exist that you should be aware of with premature cord clamping. One of the biggest dangers is the potential for blood loss. Especially if the child is delivered pre-term, doctors estimate that the baby will have one-third of its blood located in the placenta. If you cut this cord, it can lead to more blood loss than what the infant can handle. When you cut off the umbilical cord prematurely, it can lead to an iron deficiency, which can cause other health complications for your child. You could wind up having a child with a birth disorder due to the doctor cutting the cord too early.

Some of the potential dangers you need to remain aware of include autism, respiratory distress, brain hemorrhaging, intellectual disabilities, and cerebral palsy. If your child winds up with cerebral palsy, you may have to seek financial help. That’s because this illness can turn into a lifetime of hospital visits, and your child could suffer many disabilities that arise from CP. Doctors don’t have a set time for when they should cut the cord. However, some medical experts believe that it should be anywhere from two to three minutes. If you’d like this for your child during delivery, you should speak with the doctor in advance to say that you want a delayed cord clamping.