Effects of timing of umbilical cord clamping for mother and newborn: a narrative review

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2023 Mar 29. doi: 10.1007/s00404-023-06990-1. Online ahead of print.


Objective: This narrative review was performed to evaluate the correct timing of umbilical cord clamping for term infants. It was intended to determine any advantages or disadvantages from early or delayed cord clamping for newborns, infants or mothers.

Methods: A systematic search on two databases was conducted using the PICO pattern to define a wide search. Out of 43 trials, 12 were included in this review. Three of the included studies are meta-analyses, nine are randomized controlled trials.

Results: Early or delayed cord clamping was defined differently in all the included trials. However, there are many advantages from delayed cord clamping of at least > 60 s for newborns and infants up to 12 months of age. The trials showed no disadvantages for newborns or mothers from delayed cord clamping, except for a lightly increased risk of jaundice or the need for phototherapy.

Conclusion: Delayed umbilical cord clamping for term infants should be performed. Further research is needed to improve knowledge on physiological timing of umbilical cord clamping in term infants, which also leads to the same advantages as delayed cord clamping.

Keywords: Maternal outcomes; Narrative review; Newborn outcomes; Quality of evidence; Umbilical cord clamping.

Publication types

  • Review