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Wait to clamp babies' umbilical cords, says researcher

Midwives and obstetricians should wait a few minutes before clamping the umbilical cords of newborns, a researcher has claimed.

Doing this would reduce the risk of infants being harmed by the procedure, according to a retired consultant obstetrician writing in the BMJ online.

Dr David Hutchon said it was time the UK followed guidance from the World Health Organization to refrain from early cord clamping.

He said: “Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproven intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change.”

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