The possibility of cord blood banking has made us aware of the importance of the blood, more particularly the stem cells contained in the umbilical cord. Continuing research has also pointed out that many future cures for different diseases and conditions can be worked out using stem cells.
So it makes sense when researchers find that more time should be allowed to elapse before the time that a neonate’s umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
Delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord is, according to researchers a way of ensuring that more blood is transferred to the child and more “gifts” are handed over in “nature’s first stem cell transplant”. It is thought that anemia could be avoided if the cord remained attached to the baby for a longer time.
There is the apprehension that in western cultures the umbilical cord is cut too early; barely half a minute to a minute after birth, which may prevent valuable umbilical blood being transferred to a baby.
During the process of childbirth, the umbilical cord and placenta contract, and this causes blood to be pumped to baby. When sufficient blood has been pumped, this process ceases. Doctors should ideally wait for this process of blood flow to complete or reach equilibrium, it is suggested.