What is delayed cord clamping?

Some people feel that the blood in the umbilical cord should be allowed to flow into the baby and that the cord should not be clamped while it is still pulsing.  Medical studies have shown that, particularly in parts of the world with poor infant health care, delayed cord clamping can help protect the baby from anemia (low blood counts) during the first 6 months of life.  However, a prolonged delay will allow the blood in the cord to clot, and the opportunity to collect the blood for stem cells will be lost.  Therefore, if clamping is delayed, it should not be more than two minutes.

References:
Hutton, EK & Hassan, ES, JAMA 2007; 297:1241-1252
van Rheenen, P et al., Tropical Med. and Internal Health 2007; 12(5):603-616
Abalos E., 2009; The World Health Organization Reproductive Health Library