What is Delayed Cord Clamping?

Delayed cord clamping is the practice of letting the blood from the placenta flow to the baby for some period of time after the baby is born before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord. It is important to note that the definition of ‘delayed cord clamping’ optimal timing is not consistently defined. Some providers may clamp and cut the cord at various times1-10, for instance:

  • • 30 seconds or more after birth
  • • Between 1-3 minutes after birth
  • • After the cord stops pulsating
cord tissue illustration

Delayed Cord Clamping and Cord Blood Banking

If you’re visiting this page, you’re probably wondering if you can choose to do delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking.

The answer is yes! If delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking are part of your birthing plan, consult your delivery provider. We realize the value of both delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking. Depending on the delivery circumstances, either options provide potential benefits. Read more on why some women might choose to do both.11

What Do the Doctors Say?

Some providers who regularly practice delayed cord clamping and perform cord blood collections for CBR families have been able to collect adequate volumes of cord blood for storage following delayed cord clamping.12 As in any collection, it is recommended that providers who practice delayed cord clamping are trained to use CBR's Cell Advantage® collection device in order to maximize the collection volume.

Cord pulsations may help the blood flow into the gravity bag during the cord blood collection; delaying cord clamping could result in a smaller collection volume. However, as part of CBR's Quality Standard we perform a cell count measurement on every cord blood sample and our Genetic Counselors are available to speak with families when the cell count does not meet our standard and to discuss their banking options.

Are There Any Studies On Delayed Cord Clamping?

According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, there is insufficient evidence to support delayed cord clamping for full-term infants at this time.13 However, some studies have shown that delayed cord clamping may have potential benefits to the newborn such as reduced iron deficiency in infancy.14 There are additional emerging studies on the topic of delayed cord clamping, as well.15

More and more families realize the value of umbilical cord blood and we want to ensure that you fulfill your birthing plan the way you desire. While cord clamping immediately after birth has been the standard practice in the U.S. for decades, it is important to understand the potential benefits of delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking and that both can be carried out after birth. Hear what others are saying on BabyCenter.


1. WHO. Guideline: Delayed umbilical cord clamping for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014.

2. Andersson, O. L. A., Hellstrom-Westas, L., Andersson, et al. Effects of delayed compared with early umbilical cord clamping on maternal postpartum hemorrhage and cord blood gas sampling: a randomized trial. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. 2012.

3. Downey, C., Bewley, and Susan. Historical Perspectives on Umbilical Cord Clamping and Neonatal Transition. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2012.

4. Garofalo M. and Abenhaim H.A. Early versus delayed cord clamping in term and preterm births: a review. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2012;34(6)

5. Hutchon, D. J. R. Immediate or early cord clamping vs delayed clamping. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2012 32:8, 724-729.

6. Kugelman A, Borenstein-Levin L, Riskin A, Chistyakov I, Ohel G, Gonen R, Bader D. Immediate versus delayed umbilical cord clamping in premature neonates born < 35 weeks: a prospective, randomized, controlled study. Am J Perinatol. 2007;24(5):307-15.

7. Oh W, Fanaroff AA, Carlo WA, Donovan EF, McDonald SA, Poole WK. Effects of delayed cord clamping in very-low-birth-weight infants. J Perinatol. 2011;31 Suppl 1:S68-71.

8. Sommers, R., Stonestreet, B. S., Oh, W., et al. Hemodynamic Effects of Delayed Cord Clamping in Premature Infants. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3), e667-e672.

9. Ononeze AB, Hutchon DJ. Attitude of obstetricians towards delayed cord clamping: a questionnaire-based study. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2009;29(3):223-4.

10. Sivaraman T, Arulkumaran S. Delayed umbilical cord clamping: potential for change in obstetric practice. BJOG. 2011;118(6):767; author reply 767-7.

11. Accessed 05.27.15 www.foxnews.com "Why some moms are asking doctors to delay cutting their baby's umbilical cord"

12. CBR Data on File.

13. ACOG Committee Option. Timing of Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth. Number 543, December 2012. Reaffirmed 2014. http://www.acog.org

14. Rabe H. et al., “Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping and other strategies to influence placental transfusion at preterm birth on maternal infant outcomes.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012;8:CD003248.

15. Accessed 05.27.15 http://www.npr.org "Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later"

Learn more about uses and clinical trials for cord blood and cord tissue.