The effects of redistributing placental blood into healthy full-term newborns at birth by delayed umbilical cord clamping (CC) have been demonstrated in many studies.1 The short-term benefits include higher hemoglobin concentration after birth and increased iron stores until 6 months of age. Early clamping of the cord was introduced in the past to avoid maternal hemorrhage without considering potential neonatal adverse effects. A meta-analysis by McDonald et al1 found no significant differences in postpartum hemorrhage rates when comparing early vs late CC groups in 5 trials that included 2260 women. When that Cochrane review was published, only 1 clinical trial had reported any data on long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of full-term newborns. Previously, Andersson and colleagues2 reported the outcomes of 4-month-old infants who were randomized to early vs late CC. They did not report any significant difference in scores using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire.
Rabe H, Erickson-Owens DA, Mercer JS. Long-term Follow-up of Placental Transfusion in Full-term Infants. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(7):623–624. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0431
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