×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cutting Umbilical Cord Early Eliminates Stem Cells

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-leave-it-on-a-few-years dept.

Medicine 139

GeneralSoh writes "Delaying clamping the umbilical cord at birth may have far-reaching benefits for your baby, according to researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair — and should be delayed for at least a few minutes longer after birth. This new recommendation published in the most recent Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:3) notes that delaying clamping the umbilical cord allows more umbilical cord blood and crucial stem cells to transfer from mama to baby."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

139 comments

ORLY? (1, Informative)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351426)

The kid's been attached to it for 9 months, and the last 2 minutes make _THAT_ much difference?

Re:ORLY? (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351470)

Oh, if only they had done extensive research on it, instead of just saying "Sounds reasonable, lets publish!" then they would have caught that major flaw! Too bad you weren't around to keep them honest!

Nice one, Timothy! (-1, Flamebait)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352354)

...to transfer from mama to baby.

Nice journalistic approach. Very mature, professional writing style. Ever bother reading the submissions, Timothy, or did you just not pass the eighth grade?

Re:Nice one, Timothy! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352472)

LOL. slammed by the 'professional' named, "trisexualpuppy"

Re:Nice one, Timothy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352714)

(S)HE didn't claim to be professional, douche water drinker. He/she/it/whatever makes posts while timothy posts up complete stories for everyone to see on the front page. Moron.

Re:Nice one, Timothy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352648)

Very mature, professional writing style.

Says "TrisexualPuppy".

Re:Nice one, Timothy! (1)

irreverant (1544263) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353576)

Um... RTFA.... that's how the original describes it, timothy quoted, maybe he should have provided a cites page. Would you prefer MLA, APA or the rare Chicago style?

Re:Nice one, Timothy! (3, Informative)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354016)

The bigger problem is that no blood is actually passed "from mama to baby". The maternal and fetal circulations are (almost) completely separated. Except for few red blood cells that accidentally pass (esp. around birth and trauma [wikipedia.org]), the placental barrier keeps the two circulations separate. Oxygen, nutritional material and waste are passed by diffusion, with no contact between the two blood pools. The reason for this is that the baby's blood type may be different than the mother's (because of paternal genes) and if the blood would have mixed, than there would have been an immune reaction against the baby's blood.
Delayed vs. early clamping affects the distribution of blood between the newborn baby and the placenta. The major determinant for this is the relative hight of each other, due to the rule of communicating vessels [wikipedia.org].

Re:ORLY? (4, Insightful)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351480)

I would think that newborns are at a critical developmental stage and need all the help they can get. If I sucked out a significant portion of your blood, it would set you back a bit and you've been around more than 9 months.

Re:ORLY? (5, Funny)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354084)

I don't know, I think newborns should be exposed to the free market system. If they cannot offer goods and services, they must not receive them. Providing free food, free shelter, and free healthcare to newborns is a slippery slope to a welfare state. /s

Re:ORLY? (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351548)

The kid's been attached to it for 9 months, and the last 2 minutes make _THAT_ much difference?

The cord is then under very different circumstances. At that point it is no longer bathed in a protective moistening medium and it is no longer getting nearly as much oxygen. Cutting the cord further reduces the oxygen level and gives it more surface area to dry out.

Re:ORLY? (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351576)

There are quite a few things relating to circulation that don't happen until a few moments after birth (i.e. blood pressure, heart rate, heart valve changes). Perhaps a stem cell transference has something to do with that...

Re:ORLY? (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353424)

There are quite a few things relating to circulation that don't happen until a few moments after birth (i.e. blood pressure, heart rate, heart valve changes). Perhaps a stem cell transference has something to do with that...

There are several valves in the embryo's heart (such as the foramen ovale) which allows a lot of the blood passing through the heart to avoid the lungs. A lot of the blood coming into the heart before birth is oxygenated from the umbilical cord, so it can get pumped right out without going to the lungs.

When the lungs become functional, pressure changes cause at least some of those valves to close immediately, so that the blood is now forced to go through the lungs before getting pumped back out to the body. These valves should close almost immediately to avoid deoxygenated blood being pumped out. That's really too quick to be directly affected by the stem cells. They -might- have something to do with later changes, where those valves permanently fuse shut, I don't know.

Re:ORLY? (4, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351630)

"The kid's been attached to it for 9 months, and the last 2 minutes make _THAT_ much difference?"

To be safe, use the Helicopter Parent method and leave it on until age 18.

Re:ORLY? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351642)

Yes!

When the baby is pushed out through the birth canal it is *compressed* and blood is *sqeezed out* from the baby into the umbilical and placenta. I can't believe it took researchers so fucking long to figure out *basic physics*.

I was born premature and apparently needed a blood transfusion. The reason for the latter is probably because some doctor didn't want to wait a minute or so and wanted to be more "efficient". So DO NOT allow a doctor to clamp the chord for a minute or two after the baby is born. The baby needs that blood to thrive.

Re:ORLY? (1)

kcornia (152859) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353228)

We saved cord blood for both our kids and and I remember the cord blood folks saying "we like to get at least 100 million cells for a good sample."

So of course I asked how many they got for ours and the answers were like 3 and 4 BILLION.

So while this may be true, it doesn't seem like they're exactly hurting for cells, based on my totally anecdotal account anyway...

How will they know when to cut it? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351428)

Is there an upload progress bar on the umbilical cord?

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (5, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351562)

Yes, there is. It will stop pulsing. I've heard of cases where the baby was having trouble breathing, so they kept it going for half an hour until the breathing was right. As long as the cord is pulsing, the baby is still getting everything he needs through it. In most cases, the cord will shut down on its own in a minute or two.

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (2, Interesting)

planckscale (579258) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351856)

Will it continue to pulse while only attached to the placenta? For example, is it possible or beneficial for both the baby and placenta to be outside the mother for a while?

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (2, Insightful)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351928)

I would assume the pulse is a result of the mother's heartbeat, and therefore would require everything to stay attached in order to continue to do so.

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352020)

For example, is it possible or beneficial for both the baby and placenta to be outside the mother for a while?

I don't know whether it's beneficial for the baby, but it's certainly detrimental at least to some fathers [bilkent.edu.tr]. I sentence you to look at three placentas for making such silly suggestions!

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (2, Informative)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352112)

Will it continue to pulse while only attached to the placenta? For example, is it possible or beneficial for both the baby and placenta to be outside the mother for a while?

Yes, it only pulses while attached. Basically everything is still hooked in to the mothers circulatory system at that point, and the pulsing you are seeing is actually the mothers heart pumping blood through the cord. There is something called Wharton's jelly that exists within the umbilical cord which, if left alone, will cause the cord to "clamp" itself off anywhere from 5-20 minutes after the birth. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbilical_cord#Physiological_postnatal_occlusion [wikipedia.org]

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353450)

I could see the cord to my daughter pulsing after the placenta was delivered. I'm sure it's not hard to find a youtube video of this.

Re:How will they know when to cut it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352560)

Yes, unfortunately it was written by this guy [xkcd.com].

Frist! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351434)

Frist!

Reminds me of my mother (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351464)

And they said she was crazy for keeping me attached for a year and breastfeeding me until I was 9. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW, NOSY SOCIAL WORKERS???

Re:Reminds me of my mother (4, Funny)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351732)

My sister's cat is going to feel pretty silly about gnawing through all of her umbilical cords and eating the placentas. Next time I'll be sure to let Mittens know about the stem cells.

Re:Reminds me of my mother (0, Flamebait)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352152)

Mittens knows all about the stem cells.

If you try to interfere, she'll just look at you and say "I can haz stem cellZ!" and then om nom nom the placentaburgerz.

Re:Reminds me of my mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352608)

WOW! Scientology is accepting cats now?

Eh, shouldn't be too surprised...

Re:Reminds me of my mother (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353532)

My sister's cat is going to feel pretty silly about gnawing through all of her umbilical cords and eating the placentas. Next time I'll be sure to let Mittens know about the stem cells.

To be fair, she probably thinks we're the silly ones for wasting all those tasty stem cells on our measly one-offspring litters.

Re:Reminds me of my mother (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351982)

I was breastfed until 4 or so. Not that it's necessarily the cause, but I have been quite healthy. Well, except the psychological damage due to my mother's attempts to prevent me from growing up and becoming independent. So yeah, I guess it was a mixed bag for me. :(

Keeping stem cells (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351468)

But if you cut it earlier, you can keep those stem cells and benefit from them, right? You're saying we should start giving all of that up?

Re:Keeping stem cells (2, Insightful)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351532)

Is it more important to get your kid of to a good start or save those stem cells in case you need them later? Besides, there should still be some left over.

Re:Keeping stem cells (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353524)

The thing about stem cells is that they can reproduce and indefinite number of times. It's not until they specialize that you start running into things like the 50 generation limit.

(Though the cells being talked about probably aren't toti-potent stem cells, so who knows. Perhaps they do have some limit. But that's not the way to bet.)

So think of it as accepting a temporary weakness to strengthen your child.

"...delayed for at least a few minutes longer..." (4, Insightful)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351490)

A few minutes longer than.. what?

Re:"...delayed for at least a few minutes longer.. (0, Redundant)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351542)

The standard procedure, perhaps?

Re:"...delayed for at least a few minutes longer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352910)

Which is...? Come now, don't be patronizing.

Also: Jaundice! (5, Informative)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351510)

When my son was born a few years ago, the Doc didn't clamp the cord very quickly. Our baby also ended with a pretty decent case of jaundice and had to be under the "bili lights" for a few days, extending our hospital stay.

This can sometimes happen when the baby gets a big dose of red blood cells because he's a lot lower than the placenta (gravity) or because the cord isn't clamped very quickly. All those red blood cells die in a day or two, baby cannot break down/metabolize the dead RBCs correctly, and POOF, jaundice.

Just be careful. Jaundice can cause pleasant things like brain damage in neonates (due to immature blood/brain barrier).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilirubin#Toxicity [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernicterus [wikipedia.org]

Re:Also: Jaundice! (2, Interesting)

jtorkbob (885054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351610)

Interesting correlation. My daughter stayed unclamped for a couple of minutes, I think mainly due to the chaos of a very rapid labor, and she also had to be treated for jaundice. Have you read any studies on this correlation? I would hope this study would have spotted something like that.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351760)

Apparently it is pretty common:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonatal_jaundice [wikipedia.org]

(first paragraph says 70% of the time. Other reading says 50% of the time for full term newborns.)

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

JWRose (139221) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352060)

There is no correlation to the clamping or not of the cord. Both of my kids were born at home with a Midwife who did not clamp the cord until it stopped pulsing. Neither kid had any sign of jaundice.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352250)

Ditto... and I was born in a hospital and hand my cord clamped immediately... and I had jaundice.

The funny thing is, I knew about the stem cell transfer 4 years ago; it's part of the reason my kids didn't get clamped until the pulsing stopped. That extra bit of time with an operational cord also increases the length of time until nursing is required in a significant way, and reduces the effects of any trauma to the baby during birth.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (2, Insightful)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352646)

I hope you are not presenting your anecdotal evidence as proof of your claim... because...it's not.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353108)

My guess would be the midwife kept the child elevated more in this case than the other two, avoiding the problem of excess red blood cells entering the child. Did she lay the baby on your wife's breast or anything like that?

Re:Also: Jaundice! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351818)

Really?? Funny causation.

I was born premature and needed a blood transfusion due to *insufficient* RBC. I also apparently had a decent case of jaundice. Funny how low RBC seems to have "caused" same jaundice as high RBC you are talking about? Or maybe there is another reasons?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonatal_jaundice

Now if you just read that you would have *maybe* figured out that there are multiple causes of neonatal jaundice and what your doctor did or didn't do probably had *nothing* to do with it.

Just be careful. Not enough RBC can cause pleasant things like brain damage in neonates.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352068)

Correlation is NOT causation!

Do babies walk around when they are born? No?? Same thing with metabolism. It is not developed. Once baby is born liver can't cope with all the waste the body is generating (keep in mind that while in the womb, mother's body processes most of the waste from the fetus). Jaundice is just a sign things are out of whack and then baby's liver metabolism increases until it can cope with the waste.

This is why 70+% of all newborns develop jaundice. Has nothing to do with cord clamping and other voodoo! Not clamping for too long can *sometimes* result in too much RBC in the baby but that is MUCH EASIER to fix (if necessary) than insufficient RBC.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352074)

I was born premature and needed a blood transfusion due to *insufficient* RBC. I also apparently had a decent case of jaundice. Funny how low RBC seems to have "caused" same jaundice as high RBC you are talking about? Or maybe there is another reasons?

It's definitely possible form both cases.

Jaundice is caused by high bilirubin levels, usually caused by more dead RBC than the liver can process. Two of the ways that this can happen are too many RBC in general (where a normal percentage die), or too many RBC dying (from a normal number of RBC). The latter could cause jaundice *and* anemia, which might require a transfusion.

Anyway, the GP had a good point - too many can be as bad as too few. You almost had a good point, but your snide attitude and half-assed "research" kind of deflated it.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351906)

Jaundice is actually just a symptom not the problem.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353848)

Actually, jaundice is a problem. Of course, it is caused by an immature liver that cannot process the porphyrin from the catabolism of dead RBC (porphyrin is part of the hemoglobin), but you treat Neonatal Jaundice because the excess bilirubin is toxic to the brain ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilirubin#Toxicity [wikipedia.org] ). I agree that in each jaundiced baby there is a search for a cause for the jaundice, because some may have an additional cause (sepsis, Rh incompatibility, and many more), but the majority have jaundice from an immature liver and it passes after a few days.
In adults, OTOH, jaundice in itself is not harmful, but it is worrying because it is a sign of an underlying disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis, malignancy and more). So yes, in adults it is not a problem but a sign (not symptom) of another problem. In neonates, it is a problem in and of itself.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32351940)

Yes, and that's why babies are born with a clamp, it follows after the baby and before the placenta.

Kidding aside, expose your baby to sunlight to assist in clearing up the jaundice.

My wife and I just had a very healthy son and decided on Lotus birth (i.e. keep the placenta until the cord detaches naturally, which in this case was 5 days). I have 3 other kids and never have seen such a happy, content baby as this time.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352130)

My wife's sisters kid was clamped quickly and developed Jaundice. It's a lack of Vitamin D and is not uncommon in babies.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

sudog (101964) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352256)

Neonatal jaundice is not a lack of Vit D. And all you need to do is put them in a little blue incubator in the more severe cases, or just feed them more.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353330)

+1 funny

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353884)

It was not a joke on sudog's part, the treatment for Neonatal Jaundice is UV light [wikipedia.org]. The UV light changes the insouble indirect Bilirubin into a water-soluble isomer that is excreted by the kidneys.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

kdawgud (915237) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352204)

Other than personal experience, have you found any studies or other evidence that correlate longer clamp times with jaundice?

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353198)

Actually it was my mother who's been a RN for forever (has a Masters in Nursing) that told me that was the probable cause.

Not sure about an actually study, I'll ask her and see if she can dig one up.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

eparusel (321350) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353318)

I was thinking the same thing -- my son, born recently had a high hemoglobin count that contributed to his Jaundice and a night under a few sets of blue lights.... Quite a high count, scary for a parent.
The doctor said it was likely due to an excess of blood through the cord at birth.

Re:Also: Jaundice! (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353948)

My daughter was born and was expected to have severe Jaundice due to an Rh-D isoimmunisation of my wife (due to mismatching bloodtypes of baby Rh+ and Mother Rh-) and she was also expected to require a blood transfusion (we had managed to avoid needing a transfusion in utero somehow).

She did not have the cord clamped down very quickly at all (at least 3 minutes after birth), though gravity was not much of a factor though. She did require the Biliblanket for 4 weeks after birth, but she didn't have to be taken away to neo-natal care at all, and she never left our side for that time.

I wonder now if the fact that the cord wasn't clamped immediately may have helped her to beat all expectation that she would require a blood transfusion.

Either way she was a fighter.

Separation (1)

Neutral_Observer (1409941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351634)

Ever since I was cut off I've spent all of my time trying to get back in there. But I'm not making much progress from my mother's basement here. :(

Here's the actual paper (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351846)

You can access the actual research paper through this pubmed (national institutes of health) link [nih.gov]. You may need to access it through your local university library to get further than the abstract. If you follow through as far as the link from the publisher (Wiley Interscience) [wiley.com] you'll see that the paper was actually accepted and published online back in February.

Re:Here's the actual paper (2, Informative)

bradinthehouse (1054328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352332)

Also, while you're on the pubmed site, you might be interested in searching for other papers about the benefits of "delayed cord clamping" vs "early cord clamping." There are only a few cases where early cord clamping is beneficial, apparently. I was able to find many more articles on why delayed cord clamping is beneficial than I was on why early cord clamping is beneficial.

For those who like evolution: It's also interesting to think that for millions of years, man did not clamp immediately after birth. Unattended women wouldn't bother. And yet, here we are!

If you think that for every evolutionary tale there must be a creationary (whoah, what?) tale: do you think that $deity really made humans in such a way as to be entirely dependent on doctors to clamp as soon as a baby is born? Surely he would have taken care of that piece of awesomeness by introducing some new aspect of nature to handle it without our human intervention!

Delaying is a bad move for the parents! (1)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351862)

Allowing junior to get those extra stem cells means the placenta won't be as delicious.

Re:Delaying is a bad move for the parents! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352118)

Don't worry, you'll grow up....

Where it's clamped (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#32351894)

Seems like when they do finally clamp it, it might be a good idea to clamp it as close to the mother as possible. Let the kid still absorb whatever is in the cord.

Oh great (2, Funny)

tweek (18111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352000)

I find this out 6 weeks late. When did having kids become like buying technology?

Seriously though, there are some cases where that might not be possible. My first son was an emergency c-section. I don't know how long it was before he started breathing but it felt like forever.

Thing2 was a scheduled c-section and I had him in my arms almost immediately. I honestly don't know how quickly they clamped.

Re:Oh great (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353582)

I find this out 6 weeks late. When did having kids become like buying technology?

Ha ha, your kid's obsolete! He/she won't be able to run crysis 2!

(Kidding, congratulations!)

I knew this 14yrs ago (1)

SiggyTheViking (890997) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352034)

This is rather old news.
My son is almost 14. We had in our birth plan to leave the cord alone for a while so he would get the stem cells.
Unfortunately, it was wrapped around his neck, and additionally tied in a true knot, so when he came out pale and lifeless, the doctor clamped it off and handed me the scissors.
He turned out fine, BTW.

currently in practice (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352064)

Isn't this really old news? When my son was born last August they did exactly this for exactly these reasons..

Re:currently in practice (4, Interesting)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352750)

It's also old news that giving birth on your back without moving around is just about the most painful and inconvenient way to do it, but birth wards continue to promote this because it is also the most convenient position for the doctor.

Re:currently in practice (2, Interesting)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353066)

I think that's a pretty important consideration, given the high incidence and terrible consequences of complications during childbirth.

Re:currently in practice (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353288)

United states has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Sounds like our Best medicine money can buy, actually sucks pretty bad.

Re:currently in practice (2, Informative)

whizzard (177251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353624)

United states has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world

You may want to check some actual facts [wikipedia.org]. As of 2009, the US was 46th out of 224. This definitely isn't something to brag about, but it's nowhere near the "highest". It's not even 3x the lowest...

Re:currently in practice (4, Informative)

Draconius42 (751172) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353980)

could it be because our doctors have the skill to allow babies to be born that would be stillborn elsewhere, but then subsequently die from complications? This is a misleading statistic that doesn't take the whole picture into account.

Cord blood freezing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352166)

I imagine that those companies that are touting all the benefits of freezing cord blood for possible later use are not happy about this! There would be less cord blood to harvest and maybe that would finally be the end of the nonsense they spread around.

Birthing centers already do this (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352194)

My wife and I decided to have our child at a birthing center, and this was one of the reasons.

I was very skeptical of not delivering in a hospital, but after doing some research I was intrigued. We went to the orientations at both a local hospital, and at a local birthing center. In both orientations I asked how long they leave the umbilical cord attached. The hospital doctors didn't see any reason not to cut it immediately, and kind of looked at me like "oh, you are one of THOSE people." The midwife at the birthing center said something like "We follow the most recent lifelong study completed by in which recommends leaving the cord on for due to the increased supply of stem cells." where X was something between 2 and 5 minutes, I forget the number now.

The linked article does a great job of pointing out that this isn't new. What is shocking is that most OBs don't know it. The only disadvantage of this is that it makes it harder to harvest fetal stem cells from the placenta. In our case, I don't think our donation met the minimum requirements (although we sent it in anyway). I love the idea that our son got a head start because we did what science has already known to be correct, and that perhaps someone else's life could be saved by the donation.

If you plan on having a child, it is worth every moment to do your research. And don't blindly trust the doctors.

Re:Birthing centers already do this (4, Insightful)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352990)

What is shocking is that most OBs don't know it.

It's not that they don't know, it's more likely most don't give a damn.

And don't blindly trust the doctors.

Fantastic advice, OBs often capitalize on the stressful situation and play the "dead baby card" quite often to do things their way.

Thanks for telling me now (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352268)

It is safe to assume that this news has arrived too late for anyone reading this.

Mom owes me some stem cells!!!

Re:Thanks for telling me now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352586)

extra exclamation points don't make your comment funnier :)

Because insanely complex changes go on... (1)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352366)

Many years ago, when I was a Usenet junkie, I frequented the abortion newsgroups and argued endlessly, pro-choice of course. (hey it was the 90's..I was bored.) I did some research and wrote this treatise [250x.com] on the incredible changes that occur in the circulatory system at birth.

For example, did you know that first expansion of the lungs actually reverses blood flow in sections of the central circulation? It's actually quite cool. In fact, as I wrote.."Immediately following birth, the umbilical vessels constrict. The arteries close first, and if the umbilical cord is not clamped or severed for a minute or so, blood continues to flow from the placenta to the newborn through the umbilical vein, adding to the newborn's blood volume."

But the reversing blood flow stuff is amazing.

Stem cell, shmem cell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32352520)

The placenta is not a magical and wondrous miracle; it is an organ - a part of the baby - which is no longer needed after birth. The blood coming from the placenta is *exactly* the same blood as the rest of the baby has. It does not contain magical stem cells to make the baby healthier. Remember that the placenta is a two-way vessel, and for every drop of blood that enters the baby through it, there is another that exits. Therefore delayed clamping can only result in a change insofar as what it brings in is used immediately, which at the time of birth pretty much limits it to oxygen and nutrients. This may very well provide health benefits, but anyone who is attributing it to stem cells is clearly more interested in pushing political views than in any actual science or medicine.

Old information that... (1)

n0x0n (1411589) | more than 3 years ago | (#32352698)

It was during my traEMS education, around 1996 that I was told to always squeeze the umbilical cord between two fingers in order to empty it and transfer all blood in it to the child before clamping and cutting it...

the creepy thing about that is (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353052)

it works both ways, for the mother too

you carry some cells of your mother's genetic profile, and your mother carries some cells of your genetic profile

i wonder how long after birth these genetic transfers persist?

years maybe? a cell or two here and there?

weird for the father too: have a child with a woman, and something with half of your genetic profile persists in her body

a little in the spleen there... a little in the brain here

creepy

Re:the creepy thing about that is (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353752)

I also find the mitochondrial situation to be pretty weird. I mean, even if you get past the weirdness of bacteria with their own genes living in and dividing in almost all of your cells, in many cases even releasing factors which convince your cells to commit suicide, there's a whole other layer of weirdness that they all came from your mother.

Other reasons to leave it attached (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353274)

One of the reasons a baby is given a vitamin K shot at birth is to address their low blood levels at birth, which can also be addressed by leaving the cord attached until the placenta stops pumping and the cord turns white. This of course helps with other issues, particularly in having enough red blood cells to adequately transport oxygen to the organs. I hadn't heard the stem cell argument, which I'd be less concerned about but sounds like another good reason to wait.

Of course the main reason vitamin K is administered by shot and in infant formula is for blood coagulation in case the baby is injured in the first month when levels are low. Hopefully a one-month-old is not exposed to many circumstances which would result in cuts and bruises. It seems possible that there are developmental reasons for the initially low v-K levels (because nature/evolution often has a reason for such discrepancies), but I am not aware of any research on the topic.

Re:Other reasons to leave it attached (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32353866)

sadly, many children are intentionally cut and injured before they leave the hospital.

A few minutes!? (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353468)

Damn, I know plenty of people in their 30s who mothers still haven't cut the umbilical cord! Those guys must be chock full of stem cells and nutrients.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...