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Medicine Science

Cutting Umbilical Cord Early Eliminates Stem Cells 139

GeneralSoh writes "Delaying clamping the umbilical cord at birth may have far-reaching benefits for your baby, according to researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair — and should be delayed for at least a few minutes longer after birth. This new recommendation published in the most recent Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:3) notes that delaying clamping the umbilical cord allows more umbilical cord blood and crucial stem cells to transfer from mama to baby."
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Cutting Umbilical Cord Early Eliminates Stem Cells

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  • Re:Also: Jaundice! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jtorkbob ( 885054 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:56PM (#32351610) Homepage

    Interesting correlation. My daughter stayed unclamped for a couple of minutes, I think mainly due to the chaos of a very rapid labor, and she also had to be treated for jaundice. Have you read any studies on this correlation? I would hope this study would have spotted something like that.

  • Re:ORLY? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:58PM (#32351642)


    When the baby is pushed out through the birth canal it is *compressed* and blood is *sqeezed out* from the baby into the umbilical and placenta. I can't believe it took researchers so fucking long to figure out *basic physics*.

    I was born premature and apparently needed a blood transfusion. The reason for the latter is probably because some doctor didn't want to wait a minute or so and wanted to be more "efficient". So DO NOT allow a doctor to clamp the chord for a minute or two after the baby is born. The baby needs that blood to thrive.

  • Re:Also: Jaundice! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:13PM (#32351818)

    Really?? Funny causation.

    I was born premature and needed a blood transfusion due to *insufficient* RBC. I also apparently had a decent case of jaundice. Funny how low RBC seems to have "caused" same jaundice as high RBC you are talking about? Or maybe there is another reasons?

    Now if you just read that you would have *maybe* figured out that there are multiple causes of neonatal jaundice and what your doctor did or didn't do probably had *nothing* to do with it.

    Just be careful. Not enough RBC can cause pleasant things like brain damage in neonates.

  • by planckscale ( 579258 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:16PM (#32351856) Journal
    Will it continue to pulse while only attached to the placenta? For example, is it possible or beneficial for both the baby and placenta to be outside the mother for a while?
  • Re:Also: Jaundice! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:22PM (#32351940)

    Yes, and that's why babies are born with a clamp, it follows after the baby and before the placenta.

    Kidding aside, expose your baby to sunlight to assist in clearing up the jaundice.

    My wife and I just had a very healthy son and decided on Lotus birth (i.e. keep the placenta until the cord detaches naturally, which in this case was 5 days). I have 3 other kids and never have seen such a happy, content baby as this time.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:42PM (#32352194) Homepage

    My wife and I decided to have our child at a birthing center, and this was one of the reasons.

    I was very skeptical of not delivering in a hospital, but after doing some research I was intrigued. We went to the orientations at both a local hospital, and at a local birthing center. In both orientations I asked how long they leave the umbilical cord attached. The hospital doctors didn't see any reason not to cut it immediately, and kind of looked at me like "oh, you are one of THOSE people." The midwife at the birthing center said something like "We follow the most recent lifelong study completed by in which recommends leaving the cord on for due to the increased supply of stem cells." where X was something between 2 and 5 minutes, I forget the number now.

    The linked article does a great job of pointing out that this isn't new. What is shocking is that most OBs don't know it. The only disadvantage of this is that it makes it harder to harvest fetal stem cells from the placenta. In our case, I don't think our donation met the minimum requirements (although we sent it in anyway). I love the idea that our son got a head start because we did what science has already known to be correct, and that perhaps someone else's life could be saved by the donation.

    If you plan on having a child, it is worth every moment to do your research. And don't blindly trust the doctors.

  • by tobiah ( 308208 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @04:24PM (#32352750)

    It's also old news that giving birth on your back without moving around is just about the most painful and inconvenient way to do it, but birth wards continue to promote this because it is also the most convenient position for the doctor.

  • by blackfrancis75 ( 911664 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @04:48PM (#32353066)
    I think that's a pretty important consideration, given the high incidence and terrible consequences of complications during childbirth.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:05PM (#32353288) Homepage

    United states has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Sounds like our Best medicine money can buy, actually sucks pretty bad.

  • by wringles ( 12507 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:15PM (#32354892)

    There's actually a pulse even after the umbilical cord is clamped. Pulse in the umbilical cord is generated by the fetus' or baby's heartbeat, not by the placenta. The placenta has no pumping motion.

    After the baby is delivered, it is actually not "getting everything it needs" through the placenta. Even were the placenta still attached to the uterine wall, blood flow to that organ diminishes greatly soon after delivery -- otherwise, life threatening maternal blood loss might occur. Of course, an unattached placenta is not contributing with any substantial amount of metabolites to the baby.

    As a medical curiosity, I'd like to point out that the first picture of the original article shows a true knot of the umbilical cord. Of course, it's a curiosity and not a tragedy only because the knot wasn't tight enough to kill the fetus.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN