Immediately clamping the umbilical cord was popularized in 1913. Immediate cord clamping results in up to 10x the risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. There has been a movement to end immediate cord clamping that is known as delayed cord clamping, but that does not capture the essence of what is best for baby. I prefer the term optimal cord clamping because there are times when clamping immediately is best for baby. Normally waiting an extra 90 seconds to allow the blood in the cord to pump into baby isn’t a delay at all, but is optimal.
Watch this TEDxBrussels video for more detailed information and my introduction of the campaign to change when we clamp the cord. The campaign is TICC TOCC — Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping to Optimal Cord Clamping.
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