Vanessa Dupuis ⎮ January 28, 2023

More and more women are making a birth plan and hoping to have their choices respected on certain unnecessary interventions. One of these actions, often taken too soon, is cord clamping. There are, however, many advantages to be expected.

It takes on average between 30 and 90 seconds before the lungs are completely filled with air and can function at full capacity. The placenta provides the oxygen necessary for this adaptation to take place as gradually as possible. We notice that the blood pressure stabilizes more quickly thanks to the baby's reduced efforts to fill their lungs. 

The blood contained in the placenta in addition to being filled with oxygen, it carries red blood cells, nutrients, antibodies and a high dose of iron. Babies who have benefited from late clamping have sufficient iron stores for the first 6 months. Surprisingly... 

A lack of iron can cause delays in social, behavioral and fine motor skills. 

Here are some facts that will convince the most skeptical! 

  • On average, between 30% and 50% of the baby's total blood volume remains in the placenta (note that we transfuse adults from a loss of approximately 15% of the blood volume) ❖ 100% of the transfer takes place in average between 2 to 5 minutes. We can clamp and cut when the cord stops beating so we know the trade is over.
  • Late clamping halves the risk of cerebral hemorrhage (mainly in premature babies).
  • The cord does not interfere in the early care of the newborn (drying, stimulation of crying, breathing, skin to skin, uterine massage... so why be in such a hurry?)
  • Either way, the doctor should wait for the placenta to deliver (usually between 5 and 15 minutes after birth) and examine the condition of the vagina and perineum before leaving the room. No press here 😛

I hope that following this information, you will be able to make an informed choice with full knowledge. You should also know that for those who wish to donate blood to Héma-Québec, the documents must be completed several weeks in advance and that it is really more difficult to do late clamping, because there is a risk of running out of blood for donate. Obviously, the blood collected will not be thrown away, but it will be used for studies rather than for transfusion. 

Vanessa Dupuis

Accompanying at birth

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I am Vanessa, passionate about everything related to women, motherhood, the world of births and babies. Since 2014, I have been a massage therapist specializing in pregnant women and babies, Doula and perinatal educator.

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