A new study has discovered how clamping the umbilical cord too early after birth could cut down the blood supply from the mother to the baby, affecting the baby's birth weight and iron stores.
The findings of the international review led by La Trobe University are in conflict with the standard practice in many Western countries of clamping and cutting the umbilical cord within a minute of birth.
Published by the Cochrane Collaboration, the new analysis found that newborns that experienced clamping more than a minute after birth had higher haemoglobin levels one to two days later and were also less likely to be iron-deficient three to six months after birth, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Birth weight was also about 90 grams greater with delayed cord clamping, which could provide newborns with an extra 50 to 100 millilitres of blood.
Lead author Susan McDonald from La Trobe University and the Mercy Hospital for Women said that there is much stronger evidence to suggest that delayed cord clamping following a normal-term birth is beneficial.