A randomized controlled clinical trial on peripartum effects of delayed versus immediate umbilical cord clamping on term newborns

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2021 Jul;262:99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2021.04.038. Epub 2021 May 7.


Objectives: To compare the hemoglobin and serum bilirubin concentration of term newborn following delayed and immediate umbilical cord clamping.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial of eligible parturients with singleton pregnancy delivered between July 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to either delayed clamping of umbilical cord (60 s after delivery) or immediate clamping (0-15 s) was done. The primary outcome measures included hemoglobin and bilirubin levels of the newborn measured at birth and 48 h of life. Intention-to-treat principle was applied to analysis (www.pactr.org: PACTR201906668876480).

Results: One hundred and two newborns were randomized into each group and none was lost to follow-up. Participants in both groups had similar socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. At 0 h of birth, cord blood hemoglobin concentration and total bilirubin values were not significantly different between the two groups (p > 0.05). At 48 h of birth, mean hemoglobin concentration was significantly higher in delayed clamping group than immediate clamping group (16.51 ± 1.71 g/dl vs 15.16 ± 2.27 g/dl; p < 0.001) but total mean bilirubin concentration was not significantly different (3.88 ± 1.54 mg/dl vs 3.71 ± 1.20 mg/dl; p = 0.380). There was no significant difference in postpartum hemorrhage (p = 0.653), neonatal jaundice (p = 0.856), and need for phototherapy (p = 0.561) while respiratory symptoms, polycythemia and anemia were not reported.

Conclusion: Delayed cord clamping at childbirth is more advantageous for term infants in terms of more hemoglobin concentration compared to traditional immediate cord clamping. The maternal and perinatal complications were either not significantly different or absent.

Keywords: Bilirubin; Clamping; Delayed; Hemoglobin; Umbilical cord.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Constriction
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Peripartum Period*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Umbilical Cord