The baby and their placenta are called the Feto-Placental Unit, blood circulates within that 'unit' while the baby is growing in the womb. By the middle of your pregnancy, as the placenta grows almost as big as your baby, blood is equally distributed between the two. By the end of your pregnancy, the baby is bigger than the placenta and the baby's body holds 2/3 of her blood, and the placenta holds 1/3. Approximately 1/3 of the babies blood volume resides in the placenta at the time of birth also. Waiting to clamp and cut the umbilical cord allows the baby’s blood to transfer into their body from the placenta.
Waiting just 2-5 minutes or ideally until the cord stops pulsating and is white (sometimes up to 20 mins) can help the baby greatly for the rest of their lives.
This practice has been shown to help:
Increase iron stores
Increase stem cells
Increase RBC's by 60%
Improved transitional circulation
Decreased need for blood transfusion
Assists with neurodevelopment
Increases blood volume by 30%
Lower incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage in preterm babies
Delayed cord clamping and cutting is an important practice for your child health and wellbeing and can even be practiced with most preterm, cesarean and emergency births. Infact in a c-section, the uterus has been cut and it does not contract the same way as a uterus after a vaginal delivery. Therefore less blood gets pushed to the baby before the cord is clamped.
What happens with practice of immediate cord cutting is that body's oxygen carrying capacity would have significantly diminished.
In a grown-up body, a loss of 30% - 40% of your total blood volume is a called a Class 3 Hemorrhagic Shock. It is an emergency, with the risk of damaging tissues, organs and brain cells for the lack of this vital oxygen. The treatment for this is a blood transfusion.