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Delayed cord clamping is a real thing. Seriously. Instead of cutting that cord right away and whisking baby off away from mom, some parents (and doctors) are all for keeping that little guy or girl attached. But not forever. No one is suggesting that your kiddo should be attached through the preschool years. But there’s a growing body of evidence showing that delaying clamping by a minute or so can benefit mother and baby — especially premature babies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been advocating for delayed clamping, in some situations, for several years now. Their 2012 guidelines on basic newborn resuscitation call for waiting one minute before clamping preterm newborns (that is, if the baby doesn’t require ventilation). Along with the positive effects for preterm babies, WHO also recognizes the use of delayed cord-clamping for women suffering from postpartum hemorrhage.

A recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine notes that delaying cord-clamping can increase the amount of placental blood that the baby gets. In preterm infants this may actually save lives.

Given the potential benefits, and the fact that waiting a minute before clamping the umbilical cord costs absolutely nothing, this new research (combined with what the pros already know) may mean that there are new options available for preemies and their families.

What do you think about delaying cord-clamping? Share your thoughts in the comments below.