Quality improvement efforts directed at optimal umbilical cord management in delivery room

Semin Perinatol. 2024 Apr;48(3):151905. doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2024.151905. Epub 2024 Apr 19.


Delayed or deferred cord clamping (DCC) and umbilical cord milking (UCM) benefit all infants by optimizing fetal-neonatal transition and placental transfusion. Even though DCC is recommended by almost all maternal and neonatal organizations, it has not been universally implemented. There is considerable variation in umbilical cord management practices across institutions. In this article, we provide examples of successful quality improvement (QI) initiatives to implement optimal cord management in the delivery room. We discuss a number of key elements that should be considering among those undertaking QI efforts to implement DCC and UCM including, multidisciplinary team collaboration, development of theory for change, mapping of the current and ideal process and workflow for cord management, and creation of a unit-specific evidence-based protocol for cord management. We also examine important strategies for implementation and provide suggestions for developing a system for measurement and benchmarking.

Keywords: Deferred cord clamping; Delayed cord clamping; Optimal duration of cord clamping; Quality improvement; Umbilical cord management; Umbilical cord milking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Constriction
  • Delivery Rooms* / standards
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Delivery, Obstetric / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Umbilical Cord*