By: Anna Katrina Bolivar
During the last few years, cord clamping along with other practices are being observed in a majority of hospitals. This is in compliance to the Unang Yakap (First Embrace) campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Unang Yakap is an Essential Intrapartum Newborn Care (EINC) for babies as well as mothers to ensure the best care is provided to them.
Expectant mothers are briefed by their obstetricians about Unang Yakap during one of their prenatal visits. It is the latter’s responsibility to inform their patients about all the procedures that would take place during childbirth. Expectant mothers and fathers can then make informed decisions regarding the care provided to the mom and the baby in the delivery room.
Cord clamping is one of the four components of the Unang Yakap. The step-by-step interventions of the Unang Yakap are: 1) immediate and thorough drying of the baby, 2) early skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the newborn, 3) properly-timed cord clamping, and 4) non-separation of the mother and the baby for early breastfeeding initiation.
In Unang Yakap, delayed cord clamping is observed for 1-3 minutes after childbirth. This is done to allow the transfusion of additional blood from the placenta to the baby. This will then result in an increase in the baby’s iron reserve.
Some breastfed babies would experience a drop in their blood iron levels and suffer from iron-deficiency anemia during their sixth month. The delayed cord clamping decreases the baby’s risk for iron-deficiency anemia and prevents any intake of iron supplements at such a young age.
As for the mothers, the delayed cord clamping would prevent the possibility of postpartum hemorrhage for both vaginal and caesarian births. So yes, delayed cord clamping is good! You and your baby will both benefit from it. It will increase your baby’s iron reserve and lessen your risk of hemorrhage.
Now that you’re better informed, would you even say no to delayed cord clamping? It’s a yes, of course! It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a 32-year old first time mom to an 18 months old baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.