photo: Robert Murphy via Flickr

In the chaos of newborn cries and nurses scurrying around, doctors have always rushed to cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth. Experts are now urging holding off, however, and avoiding cutting too soon. Read on to find out why and what they say the benefits are of waiting.

According to CNN, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently joined a growing group of experts who agree that cutting the cord immediately after birth isn’t the best idea. They are urging doctors to wait at least 30 to 60 seconds before clamping and cutting. The umbilical cord is what carries nutrients and blood to the baby during pregnancy. It was previously thought that allowing the cord to stay connected too long could lead to complications, like respiratory distress and jaundice. New research suggests allowing that blood to continue flowing after delivery can have some important benefits.

In full term babies the benefits of delaying cord cutting include increase in hemoglobin levels and prevention of iron deficiency. In preemies, babies born before 37 weeks, the benefits included improved circulation and lowered chance of brain hemorrhage.

Will you talk to your doctor about delaying cord cutting? Share your thoughts in the comments.