Delay the Clamp: A Review on the Benefits of Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping on Infant Health
The United States, although a developed nation, ranks at number 33 out of 36 countries in infant mortality leading by 71% higher than comparable countries at 5.7 deaths out of every 1000 births (CDC, 2018). This troubling statistic demonstrates a larger issue involving the practices involved in maternal and infant wellbeing during delivery. It is this issue that spurs the conversation around placental transfusion and delayed umbilical cord clamping (DCC) versus immediate umbilical cord clamping (ICC). DCC is known as the practice of waiting 60 seconds or longer before the umbilical cord, which attaches the baby to the mother and is the infant’s main blood supply in utero, is cut. ICC is the preexisting practice that occurs when the umbilical cord is clamped and cut off immediately after an infant is born. The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to compare the effects that DCC has on a newborn's health in comparison to ICC. Nurses or other healthcare providers can use this information to implement change in cord clamping procedures in order to improve the infant’s health immediately after birth and for the years to come, thus lowering the infant mortality rates in the United States.