An American mum was reportedly forced to fire her obstetrician mid-contraction because he refused to implement an increasingly popular technique known as delayed cord clamping.
Taylor Parsons’ mother, Michelle Parsons, recounted the stressful birth via Facebook, saying her daughter opted to deliver her own baby rather than deviate from her birth plan.
“This guy was stunned when Taylor told him to step back as she squatted on the labour bed and delivered her own son in full caul [in the amniotic sac],” the Nevada woman wrote. “It was a beautiful sight to behold!”
Of course, this is not exactly advisable delivery room behaviour. But more and more research is indeed finding benefits to delayed clamping.
While in many cases, a child’s umbilical cord is clamped within 15 to 20 seconds after birth, a growing number of health professionals are delaying the process – some by up to three minutes.
The technique, known as delayed cord clamping, allows up to 80-100 millilitres of blood to flow into the infant’s body, which advocates say improves health and nutrition outcomes. The key benefits identified by researchers include increased haemoglobin levels at birth and improved iron stores for the first several months (which, in turn, can impact cognitive, motor and behavioural development).
Among the high-profile supporters of delayed clamping is the The World Health Organisaiton, which recommends the umbilical cord be clamped at no less than one minute after birth to help prevent the infant from developing iron deficiency and to reduce risk of postpartum haemorrhage.
The shift toward delayed clamping as standard practice began a little over a decade ago, led by a British midwife named Amanda Burleigh.