You could say, the cord cutting ceremony is the most important moment of the baby's early life. After nine months of living in the womb depending only on the umbilical cord to receive all the nutritional intake from the mother, now the baby can be more independent. Some doctors usually cut the baby's cord immediately after birth into the world to reduce the risk of heavy bleeding in the mother. Even so, delaying the cutting of the baby's umbilical cord for a while turns out to be beneficial, you know!
On the other hand, doctors and parents must be smart in estimating the length of time if they don't want to cut the baby's cord directly. Health experts argue that delaying too long may be a negative risk for baby's development. Then, how long should it be ideal if you want to delay cutting the umbilical cord that is really safe for your baby's mother and baby?
Delaying cutting the baby's cord reduces the risk of anemia
Keeping the umbilical cord intact for a while before finally being clamped and cut is reported to have a good impact on the baby, based on research conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG). Especially if the baby is born prematurely.
Delaying the clamp allows the baby to continue to receive more supply of fresh iron-rich blood from the placenta. Fresh blood flow from the placenta may still flow up to five minutes after the baby is born, but the optimal blood transfer occurs in the first 1-3 minutes. Thus, delaying cutting the baby's umbilical cord can reduce the risk of a child growing up with iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common problem of malnutrition in Indonesian children, IDAI reported.
Among the many benefits of keeping the umbilical cord intact after the baby is born is increasing oxygen intake into the baby's lungs to enrich their first breath. Because the oxygenated blood that flows through the placenta will continue to flow into the lungs to allow the organ to develop maximally when breathing air.
In addition, based on previous research, delays in cutting baby umbilical cord are also useful for:
- Reduces the risk of intraventricular bleeding by 59% in premature infants.
- Decreased risk of infection by 29 percent.
- Decreased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (gastrointestinal inflammation that often occurs in premature infants and infant formula) by 62 percent.
However, delaying it too long isn't good either. For example, by waiting until the umbilical cord dries and detaches itself, as is commonly done at natural birth Lotus birth.
Too long to buy time at risk of causing cord infection
Still according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), when the umbilical cord has stopped pulsing, the placenta has become a dead tissue so that it no longer contains fresh blood.
If you leave it continuously for a long time, the umbilical cord will be vulnerable to infection due to exposure to bacteria and germs from the surrounding environment. This will increase the risk of the baby developing an umbilical cord infection
it will be a place that is vulnerable to bacteria and germs to nest. As a result, the baby will be susceptible to infection due to the placenta and the umbilical cord that is constantly attached and not cut. In severe cases, the infection can extend to the area of the abdominal skin around the umbilical cord and make the skin appear hardened, reddened and swollen.
So, how long is the ideal time to delay cutting the baby's umbilical cord?
Decisions about when the right time to cut the umbilical cord should ideally be made after the doctor and mother (and prospective father) have a thorough discussion even before labor begins, taking into account the process of labor, baby's health, and also the condition of the mother.
But generally, various studies show waiting at least 30 seconds to a minute before clamping the umbilical cord allows more fresh blood rich in iron from the placenta to flow into the body of the newborn baby. A number of international health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), even recommend cutting the umbilical cord if done in one to three minutes after the baby is born.
Cutting the umbilical cord in this period is also the same for mothers who are HIV positive. Based on WHO research, postponement of cuts does not have an impact on the increased risk of HIV transmission from mother to baby because the baby's remaining blood while still connected to the cord will remain the same as the blood that has been obtained in the womb. The risk of a baby contracting HIV from a positive mother is more due to the presence of an HIV virus that enters the baby's body through blood flowing in the placenta during pregnancy, or there is exposure to the mother's blood during normal delivery, not from the delay in cutting the cord.
Even so, your doctor will usually not delay cutting your baby's umbilical cord if he is known to have respiratory problems and /or other medical conditions that require emergency care.
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