Don't cut the cord too fast; a pause benefits most newborns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't cut that umbilical cord too soon.  New recommendations for U.S. obstetricians suggest that waiting "at least 30 seconds to 60 seconds after birth" to cut the umbilical cord could benefit most healthy newborns by delivering them a surge of oxygen-rich blood.

That's double what often happens now. It's common in the U.S. for doctors to cut the cord almost immediately, within 15 to 20 seconds of birth, unless the baby is premature.

Cutting the cord is a memorable moment in the delivery room, and the latest advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists won't interfere if dads want to help.

Dr. Maria Mascola of ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice says an extra half-minute may not seem like much, but a lot of oxygen-rich blood reaches the baby through the umbilical cord shortly after birth, and there's increasing evidence that it has some health benefits.

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