Are Doctors Causing Infant Brain Damage by Clamping the Umbilical Cord Prematurely?


 

birth, newbornNewborn lungs exist in a "compacted state" suitable for the womb. When the infant is born, the placenta and cord pulse for up to 20 minutes, delivering a burst of blood volume to the infant's system. This blood burst is just what is needed for the lungs of the newborn to expand.

Unfortunately, many hospitals and doctors don't understand the mechanics of this and are engaging in early umbilical cord clamping -- often within one minute of birth.

Without the burst of blood from the placenta, the infant suffers a drop in blood pressure as its lungs fail to open as they should, creating a chain reaction of effects that can include brain damage and lung damage. Immediate cord clamping can cause hypotension, hypovolemia and infant anemia, resulting in cognitive deficits. Some have even theorized that the rise in autism could be linked at least in part to early cord clamping.


Sources:


  Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2008; 93: F77

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Comments:

Mommy...
May. 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Thanks for the info! I'll be asking the Drs. about this!

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DreaK...
May. 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Makes me glad I had an awesome midwife who let the cord stop pulsating on its own!

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RanaA...
May. 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

It's obvious that nature's design is for the placenta's blood to be the infant's blood supply.  It's ridiculous to not allow the infant to have it's OWN blood supply!
I will totally slaughter anyone who so much as comes NEAR the umbilical cord this time before it's done pulsing and turns yellow.

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Knoxv...
May. 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM

It's ridiculous to not allow the infant to have it's OWN blood supply!

 

WELL SAID!!!!!!!

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mrssu...
May. 31, 2009 at 12:16 AM

if this was true how come so many doctors clamp it and nothing happens to the infant.  if this was true you would think that you would see more retardation in kids and all see a lot more infant deaths.

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Aasiyah
May. 31, 2009 at 12:22 AM

i wonder why if this is true, it isn't taught widespread to not tie or cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsating. i'll have to ask about this also. Thanks for the article..

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mrssu...
May. 31, 2009 at 12:52 AM

i know i will be asking at my appointment!!  because me brain has now been pricked...

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Katie911
May. 31, 2009 at 12:56 AM

I have had two children.  Their cords were cut within the first minute or so.  There is no brain damage, and they are healthy as horses.   I think it's just one of the naturalistic things again.

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Knoxv...
May. 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

I have had two children.  Their cords were cut within the first minute or so.  There is no brain damage, and they are healthy as horses.   I think it's just one of the naturalistic things again.

Horses, or for that matter, any other mammal, do not have the umbilical cord clamped and cut... so actually, NO, your chldren aren't healthy as horses.

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MamaCass
Oct. 21, 2009 at 3:05 AM

I have witnessed the birth of a child who was allowed to have the cord stop pulsing before it was cut and one where the cord was cut immediately.  The second child definitely struggled more, so in my mind if it makes it easier for the baby, then just wait.  We are not taught this in nursing school, but it is becoming more well known. 

Obviously all children who have their cord cut immediately are not suffering brain damage, but the question comes in, how do you measure that?  When there is not enough oxygen going to the brain, the potential for brain damage is there.  Furthermore, so many children, when they are born have respiratory issues...more so from a c-section.  It makes sense to me that the transition from fetal circulation to neonatal circulation would be easier if the cord was left as is to supply oxygen to the baby.  What harm does it do to wait?  In the case that there isn't imminent danger to the baby or the mother (like bleeding), I don't see why except that it takes time to wait.

I also believe in this practice because it keeps the baby and the mother together.  Before the baby is born, as a nurse you assess the mother and watch the monitor for the baby.  Once the baby is born, all of the attention naturally goes to the baby.  If you leave the cord un cut then the baby must be placed on the mother's chest immediately and then you can assess both mother and baby at the same time. 

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