Early Clamping Of The Umbilical Cord May Interrupt Humankind's First 'Natural Stem Cell Transplant'

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Link

… Delaying clamping the umbilical cord ... allows more umbilical cord blood volume to transfer from mother to infant and, with that critical period extended, many good physiological "gifts" are transferred through 'nature's first stem cell transplant' occurring at birth.

… [In] Western medical practice, early clamping ... remains the most common practice ... perhaps because the benefits of delaying clamping have not been clear. However, waiting for more than a minute, or until the cord stops pulsating, may be beneficial …

Birthing methods have also changed over the last century. Throughout human history and currently in cultures and areas where delivering mothers squat to deliver, gravity helps speed the stem cell transfer …

… the relationship between cord clamping time and the transfer of stem cells needs to be understood through the early weeks of the perinatal period and the process of 'hematopoiesis,' the formation of blood cells that begins as early as two weeks into pregnancy. A transfer of pluripotent stems cells continues throughout pregnancy, however, and for a time through the umbilical cord following delivery.

…"In pre-term infants, delaying clamping the cord for at least 30 seconds reduced incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage, late on-set sepsis, anemia, and decreased the need for blood transfusions."

Another potential benefit of delayed cord clamping is to ensure that the baby can receive the complete retinue of clotting factors.

… many common disorders in newborns related to the immaturity of organ systems may receive benefits from delayed clamping. These may include: respiratory distress; anemia; sepsis; intraventricular haemorrhage; and periventricular leukomalacia. They also speculate that other health problems, such as chronic lung disease, prematurity apneas and retinopathy of prematurity, may also be affected by a delay in cord blood clamping …

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448