NCT views on umbilical cord clamping

Released on: 26 April 2013

The time it is appropriate to clamp the umbilical cord after a child’s birth is being debated in the national news today.

NCT Chief Executive Belinda Phipps said:

"When a baby is born, about a third of the baby's blood is still in their cord and placenta.

"With no good evidence to support it, it is accepted practice to accelerate the arrival of the placenta with an injection and clamp and cut the cord immediately, depriving the baby of this blood.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that things need to change. It is time all those who are becoming  parents were informed about the disadvantages of early clamping on a baby’s breathing and iron levels. 

“NCT would like to see the default position become leaving the cord for a few minutes until it stops pulsating unless the mother chooses either to have an injection to speed the arrival of her placenta or this is urgently required due to blood loss.

“NICE are reviewing the guidelines around cord clamping in the light of new evidence, and of course further research is needed to qualify the benefits of waiting before clamping and be clear when exceptions should be made.”