Concerns about umbilical cord clamping
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fetal to postnatal circulation




>>Concerns (NCS p9)

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Contact: Eileen Nicole Simon
versus opinion
Increased prevalence
of childhood disorders
Dependency and
need for lifelong care
Factors in need of
closer examination
8.  Evidence versus opinion
The evidence from the research with monkeys has been neglected too long.  Windle,
Myers and other investigators held the opinion that brainstem damage was insignificant
and at most responsible for minimal dysfunction [
67, 70].  But can any damage within
the brain be considered minimal?
Umbilical cord clamping is a tradition based on opinion.  It is understandable how
clamping the cord might in the past have been thought of as a way to prevent
hemorrhage.  The thinking that polycythemia and jaundice could be prevented by
clamping the cord is more recent.  But bilirubin-staining of the brain is selective for
particular subcortical nuclei, recognized early-on as the same sites vulnerable to
ischemic damage [
Placental blood is not superfluous; it is not blood that might overload the circulatory
system of the infant, nor should it be discarded or stored for possible use in the future.  
Placental blood is part of an infant's prenatal circulatory system, essential for
respiration.  The lungs need the placental blood before they can take over the
respiratory functions.
9.  Increased prevalence of childhood disorders
Prevalence of autism, attention deficit disorder, asthma, diabetes, and other childhood
conditions appear to have increased dramatically over the past decade or two.  Some of
these may be the unintended outcomes of the protocol for immediate umbilical cord
clamping, which has become standard practice during the same period of time.  
Follow-up studies must be conducted far longer than discharge from neonatal care
nurseries.  Language development is the most important early outcome to investigate.
Posted: February 27, 2006
(a work in progress)
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versus opinion