Most of us love cute, adorable little babies. Some of us dream of the day we will have our own child, and the emotional moment in the hospital when you hold your own baby in your arms. I recently saw an article that related to babies right after they were born, and a study shows that delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord can actually benefit the baby.
Research has found that delaying the clamping can increase fine-motor skills and social scores in children once they reach the age of 4. A study was done in a hospital in Sweden to see the effects that delayed clamping of the cord can have long term. 263 children took IQ tests, and participated in other assessments dealing with behavior and development. 141 children had delayed clamping, which was considered to be 3 minutes after birth or more. While 122 children had early clamping, which was 10 seconds or left after birth.
The IQ test didn’t show much variation in the results between the early and late clamping. Instead, an observation was made that involved the immature pencil grip of the kids. This immature grip was found less in the delayed cord group. This delayed cord group also performed better in the assessments involving motor skills and social skills.
Although the study doesn’t have the medical reason behind the link, there is a correlation between delayed clamping and an increase in skills. Another study was done that showed the benefits of delayed clamping when it comes to congenital heart disease. Infants here didn’t need as many red blood cell transfusions as the early clamping infants. Apparently the delay in time of clamping gives the baby a higher blood volume, which most likely improves the flow of blood in the infant. This could be beneficial to those with the heart disease.
Further research and studies should be done to find the connection between the late clamping and benefits. Although there is an apparent connection, it would be good to try more studies to improve the validity of the theory. Maybe sometime in the future all babies will have their cord cut later than usual, as their mother waits anxiously to hold her newborn baby.