WEDNESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- In healthy, term infants there may be some advantages to delayed cord clamping, including an increase in early hemoglobin concentration, according to a review published online July 11 in The Cochrane Library.
Susan J. McDonald, Ph.D., from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted a literature review to identify randomized controlled trials comparing early and late cord clamping.
The researchers included 15 trials involving a total of 3,911 women and infant pairs. The trials were assessed to have a moderate risk of bias. For the primary outcome of severe postpartum hemorrhage there were no significant differences between the early and late cord-clamping groups (risk ratio [RR], 1.04; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.65 to 1.65). Based on five trials with data for 2,066 women with a late clamping event rate of approximately 3.5 percent or for postpartum hemorrhage of 500 mL or more, the RR for severe postpartum hemorrhage was 1.17 (95 percent CI, 0.94 to 1.44). For neonatal mortality and for most other neonatal morbidity outcomes there were no significant differences between early and late clamping. For the first 24 to 48 hours, hemoglobin concentration in infants was significantly lower in the early cord-clamping group (mean difference, −1.49 g/dL), although this difference in hemoglobin concentration was not seen at subsequent assessments.
"A more liberal approach to delaying clamping of the umbilical cord in healthy term infants appears to be warranted, particularly in light of growing evidence that delayed cord clamping increases early hemoglobin concentrations and iron stores in infants," the authors write.