Based on a new study published on the journal of Pediatrics, umbilical cord milking can save infants’ lives by simply increasing blood flow in their brains and body. The findings could be extremely useful, especially when it comes to premature children, who need special care during their first months of life.
A group of scientists from the Neonatal Research Institute conducted by MD Anup C. Katheria have tested a different method of umbilical cord clamping in order to see whether the new maneuver is better for the newborns.
The procedure was particularly useful for those children, who had been delivered through C-section, but researchers studied the effects of umbilical cord milking on all types of births.
The experiment saw the participation of 197 children, who came into the world 32 weeks earlier than they were supposed to. Out of this group of participants, 154 were delivered through C-section, whereas the other 43 were brought into the world through regular births.
Both categories have been divided between infants, who were subjected to umbilical cord milking on the one hand, and delayed cord clamping, on the other hand.
The 75 infants, who received milk through their umbilical cord at the C-section delivery, registered higher blood flow in their brain and heart than the ones with a vaginal delivery. The rest of 79 children were assigned to the umbilical clamping method, but no major changes have been observed in their health condition.
Results have further showed that the premature infants, who were subjected to the umbilical cord milking also had higher blood pressure and higher levels of hemoglobin. This shows that survival chances in premature infants grow if fed through their umbilical cords several more minutes after cesarean.
Until recently, medical experts used to practice delayed cord cutting which was thought to bring sufficient blood in infants’ lungs to improve their health condition after delivery. However, the good results that cord milking has had on premature children have convinced doctors to take this medical procedure into consideration for future births.
Umbilical cord milking presupposes that physicians encircle the cord with their thumb and forefinger allowing just little blood to flow through their abdomen. The method needs to be further verified before doctors decide to permanently adopt it among their procedures.
The findings of the study were published in this month’s number of the journal of Pediatrics.
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