Management of Placental Transfusion to Neonates After Delivery

Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Jan 1;139(1):121-137. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004625.


This review summarizes high-quality evidence supporting delayed umbilical cord clamping to promote placental transfusion to preterm and term neonates. In preterm neonates, delayed cord clamping may decrease mortality and the need for blood transfusions. Although robust data are lacking to guide cord management strategies in many clinical scenarios, emerging literature is reviewed on numerous topics including delivery mode, twin gestations, maternal comorbidities (eg, gestational diabetes, red blood cell alloimmunization, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] infection) and neonatal complications (eg, fetal growth restriction, congenital heart disease, and the depressed neonate). Umbilical cord milking is an alternate method of rapid placental transfusion, but has been associated with severe intraventricular hemorrhage in extremely preterm neonates. Data on long-term outcomes are discussed, as well as potential contraindications to delayed cord clamping. Overall, delayed cord clamping offers potential benefits to the estimated 140 million neonates born globally every year, emphasizing the importance of this simple and no-cost strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion
  • Blood Volume
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Placenta / blood supply
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Umbilical Cord Clamping*