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Timing is everything. And the precious moments after the birth of your child are no exception. A well-known study published several years ago concluded obstetricians and midwives should wait a few minutes before clamping the umbilical cords of newborn infants. Delayed cord clamping at birth (DCC) is believed to be incredibly important because risk of iron deficiency is found to be considerably lower in babies whose umbilical cords were clamped and cut three minutes after birth, as opposed to those cut within the first 10 seconds of baby’s life.

Dr. Andersson, a researcher at Uppsala University who led the study, says,

“If the cord is left in place for three minutes, the blood continues to flow into the newborn’s circulation. The baby receives about a decilitre of extra blood.”

This extra umbilical blood is vital, as it contains an important iron supplement.

A follow-up study went even further in order to determine whether early cord clamping (ECC) may have a serious impact on the child’s development. Girls, who have a higher potential for storing iron, fare better than boys, the study reports.

Read Dr. Andersson’s research and talk to your obstetrician about your options for cord clamping after birth.