A review of previous studies conducted by researchers at Cochrane Library has found that clamping the umbilical cord of a newborn baby immediately after birth deprives it of an important supply of blood and reduces the amount of iron it receives.
The researchers reviewed 15 previous studies involving over 3,900 women and their babies and revealed that there is no evidence to suggest that not clamping the umbilical cord immediately after birth increases the mother's risk of experiencing severe bleeding after giving birth, called postpartum haemorrhage. Delaying the clamping could lead to increased iron reserves in the baby for up to six months after birth, higher birth weight and early haemoglobin concentration.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that it will be reviewing its 2007 guidelines, which recommended early clamping, following increasing evidence that delaying clamping could be beneficial to the baby though draft guidelines will not be published until next year.
"Our priority is to ensure that mothers and babies get the best possible care. All available evidence on the right time to clamp a new born baby's cord is being considered and recommendations will be based on the best available, published evidence. Our guideline for the NHS will represent best possible practice and will put mother and baby's safety first", the director of NICE's centre for clinical practice, Mark Baker said.