Placental Blood Transfusion Equally Effective If Baby Is Placed on Mother

By Joe Elia

Delayed cord clamping provides as much placental blood when the baby is placed on the mother’s chest or abdomen as when it’s held at the level of the vagina, according to a Lancet article.

In a study of gravity’s effects on placental transfusion, researchers randomized some 400 babies born vaginally to one of two groups. Infants in the first group were held at the level of the vagina for 2 minutes after delivery, and in the second, they were placed on the mother’s chest or abdomen.

To measure the amount of placental blood transferred, babies were weighed immediately upon delivery and again after cord clamping. The mean weight gain in both groups was roughly 55 g.

Abstract of this article

Delayed Cord Clamping seems warranted

“We should all be considering the merits of delayed cord clamping,” said Allison Bryant of NEJM Journal Watch Women’s Health. “This study helps to eliminate the cumbersome process of holding the neonate lower than the placenta — and away from its mother — and allows for immediate skin-to-skin contact, a technique that has great benefits of its own.