Monday, June 01, 2015
Of all the factors which determine infant brain development, timing of umbilical cord clamping would have been the least thought of. Growing evidence indicates that delaying cord clamping improves the amount of iron in the blood which is important for brain development just after birth. Now researchers in Sweden have found that fine-motor and social skills of children improved on delayed cord clamping.
Term infants born to low-risk pregnant women were randomly assigned to be either clamped at least 3 minutes post delivery or within 10 seconds postpartum. At the age of 4 years, the children were assessed for IQ, motor skills and behavioural parameters by a psychologist, while details about the child’s social and communication skills were provided by the parents. The findings of this study were published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The researchers noted that children with delayed clamping showed more mature fine-motor skills compared with their counterparts. Interestingly, boys showed more improvements in fine-motor skills on delayed clamping than girls, despite being more susceptible to iron deficiency.
The researchers concluded saying, "Delayed cord clamping compared with early cord clamping improved scores and reduced the number of children having low scores in fine-motor skills and social domains."
The timing of umbilical cord clamping can bring about a marked difference in a child’s brain development. This emphasises the need for a more liberal approach towards delaying cord clamping for better developmental outcomes in children.
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