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Babies are being put at risk because midwives ‘still cut the umbilical cord too quickly’
- Campaigners say midwives are cutting babies’ chords too quickly
- Rules introduced two years ago stipulate they should wait 60 seconds
- Midwife Amanda Burleigh said many of her colleagues were refusing
Midwives are putting babies at risk by ignoring official guidelines that say they should not clamp the umbilical cord too early, according to campaigners.
Rules introduced two years ago stipulate that midwives should wait at least 60 seconds after delivery before stopping the blood flow from mother to newborn, because doing so earlier than that can harm the child.
For decades, most midwives have clamped and cut the cord within seconds of the birth, believing that leaving it increased the mother’s risk of haemorrhage. But recent research highlighted the danger to the baby of early clamping, including increasing the chances of anaemia and subsequent development problems.
Midwife Amanda Burleigh, who campaigned for the change, said that many of her colleagues were refusing to alter their practice. She has received dozens of letters from new mothers upset that their midwives cut the cord immediately despite the new guidance.
She said: ‘I’m very concerned that nearly two years after the guidance was issued, some midwives appear to be sticking to a practice that is not beneficial for the baby.’
She also claimed that parents – and even fellow health professionals – were being denied information about the dangers of early clamping.
‘I meet student midwives who haven’t been told about the guidance as part of their training, and others who tell me that senior midwives are still sticking by the old ways,’ she said. …