Optimal cord clamping

Optimal cord clamping

At the time of birth, there is approximately 1/3 of baby’s blood supply still travelling between the cord and the placenta. This blood is still being supplied with oxygen from the placenta and will continue to provide oxygen for the baby. The reason we delay the cord from being clamped is to allow the baby a smooth change from life in the womb to become self-supporting.

If you hover over the points below you will understand the changes that happen within baby’s body.

What is delayed cord clamping?

Delayed cord clamping is the name of the medical practice of clamping the cord after birth. It is performed between 1 and 5 minutes after birth with your consent.

  • There may be a reason that this is recommended, and you should discuss this with your health care provider.
  • The cord is clamped in two places and then cut in the middle.
  • You can request to wait for longer to clamp the cord.
  • More of the baby’s blood will have returned to baby if left for longer than 2 to 3 minutes in most cases.
  • It is a less gentle transition from the womb.
  • Leaving the cord for 2 minutes or more even if you are choosing to have delayed clamping will increase the positive benefits for baby.

We will look at this again within the section on creating your birth plan.

Special Circumstances
  • Each birth is different, there are times when the cord may need to be cut a little earlier and this is also ok. We are just looking at what is the best for baby when it comes to optimal cord clamping.
  • If you have a cesarean section, depending on the circumstances, they will still try to delay the cutting of the cord.
  • Your midwife or health care provider will talk to you about this if things change in birth.