When writing their birth plans, some women include a request that the doctor not cut the umbilical cord right away—the delay enables more blood to return to the newborn and also supplies more iron. As recommendations change, though, moms-to-be may not even have to ask anymore.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently began advising doctors to wait at least 30 to 60 seconds to cut the cord, joining the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Besides helping to prevent iron deficiency, delayed cutting of the cord may strengthen immune function and tissue healing (although researchers don't know for sure). Premature babies get even more benefits than babies who are full term.
To learn more, read the original article at The New York Times.