Don’t cut that cord so soon!

When you are making your birth plan, consider this: It may be wise to wait a bit to cut the umbilical cord.

A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that waiting just a few minutes to cut the cord may improve the child’s development. This adds to evidence from a December 2014 study published in Pediatrics that found delaying cord clamping by two minutes results in better development for the newborn during the first days of life.

Researchers believe that delaying the cord cutting allows the baby to get more blood from the placenta, increasing the child’s total blood volume significantly. This increases oxygen exchange and iron storage, which affects brain development.

The World Health Organization recommends delaying cord clamping for at least one minute after birth. Be sure to discuss this with your obstetrician before you are ready to deliver.

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