16/11/2011 07:23 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Cutting Newborns' Umbilical Cords Too Soon May Cause Anaemia

Baby with umbilical cord clamped PA

Researchers have discovered that waiting a few minutes before cutting a newborn baby's umbilical cord is better for the baby's health.

They say that delaying cord clamping reduces risk of iron deficiency, whilst waiting has no substantial side effects.

The NHS has no formal guidelines for nursing staff to follow as to when a baby's cord should be cut, and the World Health Organization removed early clamping from its guidelines some years ago.

Despite this, an audit of hospital policies a few years ago found that most maternity units clamp the baby's cord as soon as it is born.

The authors of the new research paper say that by delaying cord cutting, babies get the best start in life by maximising the blood and iron stores they get from the placenta, suggesting that a three minute wait can boost a newborn's blood volume by a third.

What do you think?
Were your babies' cords clamped as soon as they were born?
Had you even given it any thought?