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Press Releases : 2015 Press Releases

Many Infants Show Health Benefits from Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping

Wednesday, May 13, 2015  
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Many Infants Show Health Benefits from Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping

— Anemia, Oxygen, Blood Pressure and More Show Improvement in Newborns

with Delayed Cord Clamping, According to Leading Nursing Journal —


Washington, DC, May 13, 2015 – Research increasingly suggests health benefits for newborns associated with delayed umbilical cord clamping after birth. Waiting to clamp even as short a time as two to five minutes provides as much as a 30% increase in blood volume for full-term infants and 50% increase for preterm infants. As more clinicians become aware of the evidence surrounding delayed cord clamping, the practice might become more widely used in labor and birth settings.


Generally, benefits of delayed cord clamping are better understood in the preterm infant population. They include improved systemic blood pressure, increased cerebral oxygen, reduced need for blood transfusions, and lower risk of hemorrhage. Delayed cord clamping in full-term infants has been associated with an increase in red blood cells, higher hemoglobin levels, and decreased likelihood of iron deficiency at three to six months.


In “Perspectives on Implementing Delayed Cord Clamping,” Mayri Sagady Leslie, EdD, MSN, CNM, reviews the evidence of the health benefits of delayed cord clamping. Dr. Leslie’s article appears in the April/May 2015 issue of Nursing for Women’s Health, the clinical practice journal of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN).

In many birth settings, it is standard practice to clamp and cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth. Early cord clamping is deeply embedded in maternity care as part of the routine of labor and birth. In fact, this practice was once believed to prevent potential harms such as jaundice from “too much blood.” However, no published, randomized controlled trial research since 1980 supports this concern. Additionally, no maternal health outcomes have been shown to be negatively affected by delayed clamping, including postpartum hemorrhage rates.


“In light of these recent findings and in order to support immediate skin-to-skin contact, suggested best practice for delayed cord clamping at this time would be placing an infant on its mother’s abdomen and waiting to clamp and cut for five minutes,” wrote the author. “Nurses, midwives and physicians should revisit hospital policies that support delayed cord clamping,” said AWHONN’s CEO, Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN. “Delayed clamping may help decrease racial and regional disparities for infants experiencing anemia.”


Many pregnant women and their families are unaware of the issues surrounding cord clamping. Dr. Leslie argues that nurses are in an excellent position to explore this option and advocate for practice changes as needed. With additional research and awareness of the potential newborn health benefits of delayed cord clamping, nurses can help transform future maternal-infant care post-birth.


For media interviews, contact:

Kelly Mack for AWHONN






About Nursing for Women's Health

Nursing for Women's Health is a bimonthly refereed clinical practice journal of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. The journal circulates to more than 25,000 nurses who care for women and newborns and is available online at



Since 1969, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education, and other professional and clinical resources. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric, and neonatal nursing across the United States. Learn more about AWHONN at


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