90-seconds. That’s it. Just a minute and a half. That’s about how long it takes for the blood to flow from the placenta through a newborn’s umbilical cord and to the newborn baby.
Incredibly, in the seconds after a baby is born, child expert Dr. Green says that a full one-third of the baby’s blood remains in the placenta, so if the umbilical cord is clamped immediately after birth, the baby has only two-thirds of his or her full blood supply. Cutting the cord before it stops pulsating puts a baby at risk for anemia and a host of other illnesses if the baby continues to be deficient in iron. Waiting for what Dr. Greene calls “optimal cord clamping” can significantly decrease the risk of iron deficiency.
Many studies support optimal cord clamping, including this most recent one, reported in this New York Times article.
90-seconds for a healthier baby. Sounds like a good idea.