Timing of cord clamping revisited

J Perinat Med. 2006;34(4):293-7. doi: 10.1515/JPM.2006.056.


Although cord cutting has been performed since the beginning of mankind, the timing and advantages of early versus delayed cord clamping are still controversial. Early cord clamping (within the first 30 s after birth) is usually justified for potential prevention of postpartum hemorrhage and for immediate treatment of the newborn, but at the same time, may increase Rh-sensitization. Delayed cord clamping is performed after a period of 30 s during which 'placental transfusion' of approximately 80 mL of blood occurs. This amount seems to protect the baby from childhood anemia without increasing hypervolemia-related risks. In preterm infants, delayed clamping appears to reduce the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage and the need for neonatal transfusion. Obtaining cord blood for future autologous transplantation of stem cells needs early clamping and seems to conflict with the infant's best interest. Although a tailored approach is required in the case of cord clamping, the balance of available data suggests that delayed cord clamping should be the method of choice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Blood Banks
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Constriction
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Umbilical Cord / blood supply*