The preemie and his cord

Hi!
Here is the next part from my research on the placenta.

How about preemies?
If delaying cord clamping is beneficial for full tems babies, imagine how much it can be beneficial for a baby born early. This little prolongation of his life in-utero is without doubt extremely precious, because a fragile baby needs all the blood, oxygen and nutrients he can get. Allowing the baby to get his full dose of blood and oxygen could also give him a few extra minutes to get used to life out of the womb, an adptation that can be a little bit harder for an early baby. Astudy by the WHO found out that delayed cord clamping in preterm infants was associated with less need for blood transfusion and less intraventricular haemorrhage. Another study from the University of Rhode Island concluded that delayed cord clamping in very preterm infants reduced the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage and of late-onset sepsis. 

In her book Placenta the Forgotten Chakra, Ibu Robin Lim tells the story of Julia, who gave birth to her son Aaron at 33 weeks of gestation, in a birthing center. They did not cut the cord, they the baby skin-to-skin with his mother right away and encouraged her to breastfeed frequently. Baby Aaron did so well he did not need stay in a neonatal care unit, and managed to gain 1,1 kg in less than two weeks (his birth weight was 2,2 kg)!

Of course, sometimes a baby is born so early that immediate medical attention is needed.  When the baby isn't in immediate danger, learning to respect his arrival, his cord (even for only one minute, though it is recommended to wait until it has stopped pulsating), and putting him close to his mother can make a big difference in how the baby will adjust to life despite his early birth. We should learn to observe the babies closely and be able to adapt our actions to each individual situation, and to how they react in their first seconds outside the womb. Leaving the cord intact is the best first thing we can do to give the baby a good start, and a good chance, especially when it is preterm.

Have a nice day!

http://apps.who.int/rhl/pregnancy_childbirth/childbirth/3rd_stage/jccom/en/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16585320
Full biography available in the PDF research document (in french). Contact me for more informations.
Photo by Anne Geddes

Comments

  1. This is fascinating. I am sure most doctors cut the cod very quickly due to the emergency of the delivery. But, if this can give the preemies an extra little boost or necessary nutrients, then I think some more research should be done.
    My daughter was born at 23 weeks last year and is doing great today. I hemorrhaged at 17 weeks for the first of 4 times because of 100% placenta previa (which I believe was caused by 3 prior c-sections). I wrote a memoir called "From Hope To Joy" about my life-threatening pregnancy and my daughter's 4 months in the NICU (with my 3 young sons at home), which will be published this summer. Please see my website:
    www.fromhopetojoy.com
    and subscribe.
    www.twitter.com/jenniferdegl
    www.facebook.com/jenniferdegl
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I sure hope more research will be done on the subject and that doctors will eventually systematically leave the cord uncot longer for the benefit of the baby. Sadly, we are not there yet. I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing great now, and congratulations for your book!

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