Cutting umbilical cord too soon could harm baby

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Umbilical cords should not be clamped immediately after birth, say medical experts, explaining that waiting for three minutes could allow more blood to flow to the newborns and reduce the risk of iron deficiency and anaemia.

Retired consultant obstetrician, David Hutchen, said both the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics advised doctors to refrain from early cord clamping.

Hutchen said early cord clamping "has become the accepted norm so much so that delaying clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention", the British Medical Journal reported.

Yet he argued that "applying a clamp to the cord is clearly an intervention, having the greatest effect when it is done quickly after birth", according to the Daily Mail.

"Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change," Hutchen said.

IANS