Cod Liver Oil

Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping – Why Do It

close up of an umbilical cord still attached

Seconds after birth, with cord full of blood.

When a baby is born, only 2/3rd’s of his blood is actually in his body. The remaining third is still in the umbilical cord and placenta. This blood does not get into the baby’s body until the 3rd stage of labor, which is…

That period of time after baby is born until the time that the placenta is born. It’s at this stage of labor, that the cord actively pumps the remaining blood into baby. Blood that’s rich in iron, oxygen, and stem cells.

What is Delayed Cord Clamping?

It means waiting at least 90 seconds (ideally 15 minutes) after baby is born before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord. This amount of time allows more than 90% of the blood to pulse from the placenta to baby.

Once done, the cord will naturally stop pumping blood and the ‘blood transfusion’ complete. Baby will receive the most out of this ‘transfusion’ if he’s placed right on top of mom’s belly.

At a bare minimum, wait 90 seconds to clamp and cut baby’s cord. Many babies don’t receive the full amount of their blood because the cord is cut too soon. These babies miss out on 60% of their red blood cells, iron, stem cells, and white blood cells. All the basics that support a baby’s growing body, brain, and immune system.

cord clamping

An Unclamped Cord over the Course of 15 Minutes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) no longer recommends immediate cord clamping. Unless there’s a special situation where baby needs immediate care, most doctors and midwives are open to delaying cord clamping. You just need to let them know ahead of time. It’s a good idea to request your desire to delay cord clamping in bold on your birth plan. That way, everyone on board, including the attending nurses, will know of your desire.

Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping for Baby

  • Provides oxygen-rich blood
  • Provides 4-8 teaspoons of fetal blood
  • Protects baby from iron deficiency
  • Lowers risk of anemia
  • Provides red/white blood cells
  • Provides stem-cell* rich blood
  • Increases baby’s birth weight
  • Gives preemie babies a better outcome
  • Promotes healthy neonatal cardiopulmonary transition
  • Reduces birth asphyxia (inadequate oxygen to brain) and risk of cerebral palsy

*Stem cells play a key role in the health of baby’s immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous system. The stem cells in fetal blood are higher than they’ll be at any other time in life. If cord is immediately clamped, 1/3rd of these cells stay in the placenta and not in your baby.  

delayed cord clamping - image

Patiently wait 15 min for cord to stop pulsing.

Short video on How Much Blood Baby Receives

Step-by-step photos of blood transfusion (placenta to cord)

Placenta Encapsulation in VermontT & New Hampshire

Photo Credits

Hastings, M. (2016). Apple Blossom Families at

Nurturing Hearts Birth Services (2011) at

Rogers, L. (2016). Preserve Happy at


Greene, A. (2012). Ticc Tocc at

Hutton, E.K. and E.S. Hassan. (2007). Late vs early clamping of umbilical cord in full-term neonates

Kinmond S, Aitchison TC, Holland BM (1993). Umbilical cord clamping/preterm infants: randomized trial. British Medical Journal

Muza, S. (2012).Common Objections to Delayed Cord Clamping at

Rabe H, Wacker, A, Hulskamp G. (2000). Random controlled trial of delayed cord-clamping in preterm infants.

Science of Mom (2012). Delayed Cord Clamping.

Winder, K. (2016). 8 Reasons Not To Cut Baby’s Cord

May all bellies be happy!

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