Survey results from the Positive Birth Movement show that 40% of UK babies did not receive Optimal Cord Clamping, despite NICE guideline recommendations.
3,500 parents, who gave birth in the UK between 2015 and 2017, responded to the survey.
90% of parents said they were aware of the benefits of Optimal Cord Clamping and 75% specifically requested it as part of their birth plan or during labour.
40% of the respondents said their baby did not receive Optimal Cord Clamping, with 31% saying their baby’s umbilical cord was clamped in less than a minute after birth.
Current NICE guidelines recommend clamping of the cord should be delayed between 1 and 5 minutes, unless the heart rate of the baby is less than 60 beats per minute and not getting faster or there is concern about the integrity of the cord.
Research on Optimal Cord Clamping shows that babies who experience it can gain up to 214g in weight in the first five minutes following birth, have increased iron stores and less chance of anaemia. They also have a higher ratio of blood cells and more stem cells that promote a stronger immune system.
Following the results of the survey, the Positive Birth Movement has launched a campaign to raise awareness of Optimal Cord Clamping (or Delayed Cord Clamping).
Founder of the Positive Birth Movement, Milli Hill, said: “We need to be talking about why so many clinicians are obviously reluctant to change practice, even in the face of strong evidence. It’s upsetting to think that something which is so simple and cost-free to implement, with proven health benefits, is currently being denied to so many UK families.”
The hashtag #waitforwhite has been circulated across social media to remind clinicians to wait until the umbilical cord is white before clamping.
#everybabypossible aims to start a conversation among midwives, maternity support workers and parents about the current NICE guidelines and the benefits of Optimal Cord Clamping.
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