Delayed Cord Clamping Benefits; ACOG Recommendations
Whether you want to use a birth plan or not you’ll want to know about these options. Most care providers aren’t going over these in prenatal visits routinely. It’s important to have an open discussion about your options. The benefits can last a minimum of six weeks for you and up to a year for you and for your baby.
We rarely display photos of umbilical cords for the simple fact that not everyone wants to see them, we respect that! However, this blog warrants a visual that’s as amazing as the benefits this blog is about! A huge thank you to Kristyn Blocher of Doulas Northwest for granting us permission to use her original photo in our blog.
First thing to consider when preparing for birth is delayed cord clamping.
In this photo the umbilical cord on top is a great depiction of what a cord that is clamped immediately following the birth of the baby looks like. The cord is still full of nutrient-filled blood that carries oxygen from your placenta to your baby. Iron-rich blood.
The bottom cord in the photo depicts what a well-drained cord looks like. When delayed cord clamping is performed the latest ACOG results showed better establishment of red blood cell volume and less need for blood transfusions. It helps reduce the chances of brain hemorrhage. Delayed cord clamping also showed increased hemoglobin levels and it’s shown to improve iron stores for several months. It can help prevent iron deficiency during the first year of your baby’s life! It also showed some pretty cool benefits for the woman giving birth.
The second thing to consider when preparing for birth is your well-being, your healing and post-birth recovery.
After you birth you’ll be responsible for caring for your baby and you’ll want to feel the best you can. Focusing on your recovery is important, I can’t stress that enough. You can’t serve from an empty cup. Hopefully you’ll have the support of family, friends, and a doula. There really can never be too much of the right kind of support post-birth! There is something more, something wildly obvious that may help you along in those first few months post-birth.
Your placenta! Please, hear me out!
It is full of nutrients rich blood. It sustains life while your baby grows and plays a role in your hormones during pregnancy. After birth your placenta is either discarded as medical waste or you can opt to have your placenta made into a dried, powder supplement to help nourish you after birth. A simple capsule that may help boost your energy levels, replenish lost nutrients and hormones, boost your milk supply, and possibly help to ward off or decrease the incident of postpartum depression.
At minimum when handled safely it can’t hurt you, only help you! You can extend the possibilities of those benefits for up to about a year post-birth, just ask me how!
Possible benefits are only possible though when your health, the health of your family, and the health of every client your postpartum placenta specialist (PPS) works with is kept in the highest regards. First Coast Doulas never cuts corners with your safety!
When considering placenta encapsulation as an option here are the best ways to stay safe.
- Always select a PPS who is running a legal business (If you’re in NEFL or SEGA you can check First Coast Doulas and others here), it’s a sign that this is her career, not just a hobby service she is providing.
- Your PPS should be comfortable explaining their practices with you.
- Select a PPS who has trained, certified and who holds a current certificationfor placenta encapsulation, ask to see it!
- Price shouldn’t dictate every decision you make in your life it’s true, but placenta encapsulation is really not something to be looking for on the cheap.
- Lastly and as equally important as the others, make sure your PPS isn’t picking up and transporting your placenta. Yes, this means the PPS will come to you.
A “birth plan” isn’t for everyone, FC Doulas understands and respects that! We go over these options and many others in our Confident Birth & Parenting Class as well as the Prepared Parent Childbirth Class. The option is open for you to make a “birth plan” or just discover the options and move on.
I like to look at a birth plan as being more about the journey rather than the destination.
It’s a learning opportunity for couples to discover new and exciting things together and a chance to work as a team. This will be the first of many opportunities for Team Parent!
Happy birth and parenting from First Coast Doulas!
Authored by~ Elizabeth Luke
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