When parents are preparing their birth plan, one of the questions often asked is about the umbilical cord. “How soon after the baby is born is the cord cut?” Waiting a few minutes after delivery to cut the umbilical cord is best for your baby’s health.

When your baby is born, this cord continues to function, providing your baby not only with blood and oxygen but also time – time to transition to air breathing.

Delayed cord clamping also reduces the risk that your baby will have iron deficiency anemia. Just a three minute delay can boost a baby’s blood volume by a third.

As a result, babies with delayed clamping have better iron levels at four months of age and are far less likely to suffer newborn anemia. Researchers estimate that, for every 20 babies that we delay clamping, one case of iron deficiency could be prevented.