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Delayed cord clamping is the practice of waiting a short time before cutting the umbilical cord after birth. This allows blood from the umbilical cord, along with extra iron, stem cells, and antibodies, to flow back into the baby.

Delayed cord clamping appears to be helpful for both full-term and preterm babies. For this reason, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends delayed cord clamping for at least 30 to 60 seconds after birth for most babies.

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Published: October 2020

Last reviewed: October 2020

Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.