A new American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) committee opinion came out this month on delayed umbilical cord clamping after birth. There hasn’t been a significant standard change to the policy of clamping at 15 seconds for DECADES! (seriously, it changed in the 1950s!)
Despite many mother-baby friendly hospital’s best practice of delayed cord clamping, ACOG has been slow to make an official recommendation, citing lack of research. In Committee Opinion Number 684, published January 2017 they finally updated their opinion to delay umbilical cord clamping for full and pre-term infants for AT LEAST 30-60 minutes after birth. You can see the opinion paper here.
This is still is a different standard then we see from other professional organizations. For example, The American College of Nurse-Midwives still maintains a recommendation of clamping 2-5 minutes after birth, and our friends over the pond, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, set their recommendation at 2 minutes.
So what does that mean for you and your baby?
Hopefully, this standard will change the need to request delayed cord clamping at your birth. However, policy changes can take time to implement, and its still worth having the conversation with your care provider. If you have a provider that has in the past been less than excited to adopt new standards of care, the ACOG release and opinion helps provide the evidence based information we all like to have to use best practices!
As doulas, we love providing you with the most current, up to date, evidence based information from across the world, for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. If you are looking for someone to join your birth team, you can find us at Birth & Soul.