EL PASO, Texas - The moments after childbirth are sometimes the most crucial for a baby, and a new recommendation may help newborns get the most out of the vital nutrients it receives from its mother.
In January, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said keeping the umbilical cord attached longer is good for newborns.
Traditionally in the U.S., the umbilical cord is clamped 10 to 15 seconds after the child is born, but a new recommendation said doctors should wait 30 to 60 seconds before cutting the cord, also known as delayed clamping.
The cord carries important nutrients and blood from mom to baby and in the first few minutes after birth, blood continues to circulate from the placenta to the child.
"The baby usually ends up having a less likelihood of having a lower iron level or anemia," said Dr. Rana Kronfol with El Paso Pediatric Associates.
While the official recommendation was released at the beginning of the year, Dr. Kronfol said some obstetricians have been practicing the method for some time.
She said it appears most doctors agree with the recommendation, especially when a child is born premature.
"It's even more beneficial for them to have the extra blood," Dr. Kronfol said.
If the umbilical cord is attached for too long, the excess blood flow could lead to jaundice, something Dr. Kronfol said doctors monitor after birth.
Dr. Kronfol said mothers can request that the clamping of the umbilical be done if their doctors typically don't do so.
"You just have to remember that it really depends on the case because if the baby is born and needs any form of resuscitation then that takes priority."
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Nurse-Midwives have also endorsed the recommendation.
To read the full recommendation from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, click here.