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We know that umbilical cord is what supported the life of a baby for the entire nine months inside the womb. It is usually considered as a relic-part once a baby is born. But WAIT! It has one last most important function to do yet.
Umbilical cord and placenta together form a kind of external circulation system for the baby. At birth, the 1/3rd of the baby’s blood is in the external circulatory system and it rushes to the baby. If the cord is clamped before this transfer is executed all that precious blood and nutrients are wasted.
What Is Delayed Cord-Clamping?
According to WHO recommendations:
“Late cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.
Early umbilical cord clamping (less than 1 min after birth) is not recommended unless the neonate is asphyxiated and needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.”
A different point of views is there in this regard all agreeing on delaying cord clamping within the time of 1-5 minutes. So why is this being debated? Definitely, there are certain long-term benefits related to this clinical practice.
Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping:
Here we are discussing five main advantages of this practice.
#1. Neurodevelopmental Vantage Point:
In a study, researchers were amazed to find how an extra three minutes and half a cup of blood can translate into neurodevelopmental boost several years later. Children whose cords were clamped within 3-5 minutes showed slightly higher social and fine motor skills than their peers who got their cords cut within ten seconds after birth.
#2. Protection from Anemia:
Nature has many hidden secrets. We know breast milk has a very small amount of iron and iron is what body needs for many functions. So, is it an error? No!
Breast milk lacks high amounts of iron to prevent infant diarrhea. E.coli, one of the most common sources of infant diarrhea, is dependent on iron.
Here is where things get interesting! Excess of iron in GI tract may be troublesome but iron stores elsewhere in the body can be beneficial. One study found that delay in cord clamping can help in the prevention of anemia in the first year of life.
#3. Convenience in Cardiopulmonary Transition:
The 1/3rd of blood volume contained in the placenta is the volume that is required to fully perfuse baby’s lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys at birth. In addition to other benefits babies who have cord clamping delayed for 2-3 minutes have increased total blood volume in comparison to those who have it clamped earlier. This results in smoother cardiopulmonary transition as well. If there are any congenital heart problems in a baby find and consult with the best pediatric cardiologist in Lahore, Karachi or other main cities of Pakistan via Marham.pk.
#4. High Levels of Stem Cells:
Stem cells have a critical role in the development of immune, circulatory, cardiovascular and central nervous system. Early cord clamping results in leaving one-third of these essential cells in the placenta. Stem cells also aid in repairing brain damage that a baby may face during birth.
#5. Beneficial for Preemies:
Babies born before term completion can also have a magnitude of benefits from delayed cord clamping. In case of any complications in pregnancy always consult an experienced gynecologist. Marham can help you find the best gynecologist in Karachi, Lahore and all other main cities of Pakistan. Delayed cord clamping results in better blood pressure in preemies for upcoming days. Hence, they need fewer drugs for blood pressure maintenance, lesser blood transfusions are required and there are reduced chances of internal bleeding as well.
Do talk to your gynecologist about delayed cord clamping for your baby. The only way to avail this amazing range of benefits for your baby is to discuss this and make sure this is practiced at the time of birth.
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