Your baby’s umbilical cord is their lifeline. The reason for this, is that it is constantly delivering oxygen and nutrients, and removing carbon dioxide and waste. Plus, your placenta acts as a reservoir of blood and after birth there is a transfer of blood from the placenta, through the cord, to your baby. This is true regardless of whether you are having a vaginal or cesarean birth, or if your baby is born at term or prematurely. This placental transfusion of blood, also contains immunoglobulins and stem cells, and this transfer is stopped as soon as the umbilical cord is clamped. While there has been movement toward delaying clamping of the umbilical cord, there is not a universal guideline practiced by all care providers. This episode dives into the evidence on delayed cord clamping and what minimum amount of time is ideal.

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