Delayed cord clamping means to ‘delay’ the surgical intervention of clamping the umbilical cord at birth.

Placenta and drained cord/ fetal blood vessels after physiological third stage of labour. Image credit: Tanya Minotti Photography

Placenta and drained cord/ fetal blood vessels after physiological third stage of labour. Image credit: Tanya Minotti Photography


The definition of ‘delay’ is subjective and can range from 30 to 45 seconds, 2 to 3 minutes, once the cord has stopped pulsating or after the placental birth. (There is currently no agreed clinical definition of delayed cord clamping, and wide variations exist in clinical trials.)

More appropriate terminology is ‘optimal cord clamping’ (rather than delayed).

And the natural process is better described as ‘physiological cord closure’, which occurs after placental transfusion, the baby has transitioned, the umbilical blood vessels close inside the baby, and the cord appears very thin, white and flattened (see images). This process is most often a component of a physiological third stage.

There is compelling evidence that shows premature cord clamping is a harmful and unnecessary birth intervention and that optimal cord clamping should be standard practice.

Key articles with links to research and evidence: 

Delayed cord clamping – sharing the information
C-section and delayed clamping
Cord around the neck (nuchal cord) – what parents and practitioners should know
Cord clamping the compromised infant
Birth plan for delayed cord clamping
Delayed cord clamping may protect babies from trauma

For full list of articles, please see INDEX

For links to scholarly articles, reviews and research, please see EVIDENCE-BASE & LINKS

growing number of practitioners and maternity services are abandoning premature cord clamping, and more parents are choosing optimal cord clamping, physiological third stage or non-severance (lotus birth) (regardless of institutional policies).

This website aims to share information with parents, students and interested practitioners about:

  • fetal to neonatal transition (how a baby changes to life outside the womb)
  • premature cord clamping
  • delayed or optimal cord clamping
  • physiological birth and third stage of labour
  • cord management practices (including cord around the neck)
  • birth choices, planning and birth experiences
  • ‘cord blood’ collection and storage
  • researchers and writers on these subjects

This site contains:
-information & links to research
-links to relevant journals, articles, studies and position/ advisory statements
-birth plan support

-anecdote, birth stories and opinion

Please note this site does not constitute medical advice.
This site is for information sharing and discussion only – the web host assumes no responsibility for any loss/injury/damage arising related to any use of the content contained in, or linked to this website. It is up to the individual, in collaboration with their clinical care provider, to determine the appropriate course of action, treatment and management.

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