Why do Obstetricians Still Rush to Clamp the Cord?

For many years, the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have advised against early umbilical cord clamping. But obstetricians have been reluctant to change their habits.

Although no clamping occurs in nature, cord clamping has become such an accepted norm that delayed clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention. Basic teaching of physiology could be a factor -- most textbooks state or imply that the cord circulation closes only because of the application of the cord clamp, which is not accurate.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr. David Hutchon argues:

“Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproved intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change.”

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