Umbilical Cord Clamping

There is a relationship Between Cord Clamping and Autism

The following researched article relates autism with decreased oxygen at birth and emphasizes the importance of allowing the lungs to function before cutting the umbilical cord. Cord cutting is justified by those who want to whisk the baby away from the mother to tend to it. But then again, perhaps the baby is within a limited range of movement with the attached cord because the baby is supposed to stay right with the mother. What a concept...

The following article examines the potential relationship between early cord clamping, infant asphyxia and autism.

It summarizes:

  • " Brain lesions are associated with autism and related disorders[1]."
  • " Hypoxic brain lesions in monkeys are associated with intelligence/memory defects similar to autism. [2]"
  • "Immediate cord clamping causes newborn hypoxia.
  • "Placental oxygenation until the lungs are functioning prevents newborn hypoxia.
  • "Placental oxygenation until the lungs are functioning should prevent autism that is caused by hypoxic brain lesions."
  • Read the complete study at:

Check out this compilation of additional resources by the same author on the subject:

Early Cord Clamping

Early cord clamping deprives the baby of 54-160 mL of blood, which represents up to half of a baby's total blood volume at birth. "Clamping the cord before the infant's first breath results in blood being sacrificed from other organs to establish pulmonary perfusion [blood supply to the lungs]. Fatality may result if the child is already hypovolemic [low in blood volume]".

Morley, G Cord closure: Can hasty clamping injure the newborn? OBG Mgmnt 1998 (Jul): 29-36

Early clamping has been linked with an extra risk of anemia in infancy.

Grajeda R, Perez-Escamilla R, Dewey KG   Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord improves hematologic status of Guatemalan infants at 2 months of age   Am J Clin Nutr 1997 (Feb);   65 (2):   425-431

Premature babies who experienced delayed cord clamping--the delay was only 30 seconds--showed a reduced need for transfusion, less severe breathing problems, better oxygen levels, and indications of probable improved long-term outcomes compared with those whose cords were clamped immediately.

Kinmond S, Aitchison TC, Holland BM   Umbilical cord clamping and preterm infants: a randomised trial   Brit Med Jou 1993 (Jan 16);   306 (6871):   172-175

Some studies have shown an increased risk of polycythemia (more red blood cells in the blood) and jaundice when the cord is clamped later. Polycythemia may be beneficial in that more red cells mean more oxygen being delivered to the tissues. The risk that polycythemia will cause the blood to become too thick (hyperviscosity syndrome), which is often used as an argument against delayed cord clamping, seems to be negligible in healthy babies.

Morley, G   Cord closure: Can hasty clamping injure the newborn?   OBG Mgmnt 1998 (Jul):   29-36

Some evidence shows that the practice of clamping the cord, which is not practiced by indigenous cultures, contributes both to postpartum hemorrhage and retained placenta by trapping extra blood (about 100 mL) within the placenta. This increases placental bulk, which the uterus cannot contract efficiently against and which is more difficult to expel.

Walsh, S   Maternal effects of early and late clamping of the umbilical cord   Lancet 1968 (May 11);   1 (7550):   996-997

Clamping the cord, especially at an early stage, may also cause the extra blood trapped within the placenta to be forced back through the placenta into the mother's blood supply during the third stage contractions. This feto-maternal transfusion increases the chance of future blood group incompatibility problems, which occur when the current baby's blood enters the mother's bloodstream and causes an immune reaction that can be reactivated in a subsequent pregnancy, destroying the baby's blood cells and causing anemia or even death.

Doolittle, J. & Moritz   Obstet Gynecol 1966; 27:529   and   Lapido, O. (1971, March 18).   Management of the third state of labour with particular reference to reduction of feto-maternal transfusion.   BMJ 1971 (Mar 18);   721-723

The above are excerpts from Sarah Buckley's   "A Natural Approach to the Third Stage of Labour,"   Midwifery Today Issue 59