TUCSON, Arizona (KVOA) -- Typically the umbilical cord is cut immediately upon birth, but the findings in a new study suggest doctors wait one to three minutes, giving time for important nutrients to enter the newborn.
The study, published in the Cochrane Library researched more than 3,900 births. Babies whose cords were clamped early were twice as likely to have iron deficiencies six months later. Those whose doctors waited had a higher, healthier, birth weight.
Dr. Hugh Miller, who delivers babies at Tucson Medical Center, says while the study is new, this is a method he's practiced for ten years.
"The blood that is in the umbilical cord, that represents blood in the placenta, is filled with nutrients, filled with special cells, stem cells in fact that can be vital. These children are receiving an auto transfusion of their own blood just at the time of birth to avert the anemia they would otherwise face," Dr. Miller said.