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Listen to mother: time to change NHS practice on umbilical cord-cutting


A recent article published in the Guardian raises the issue of early clamping and how the National Childbirth Trust,The Royal College of Midwives and the World Health Organisation as does The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists all think that the cord should be left for 2-5 minutes before clamping (unless the mother is at risk). The NHS are now being urged to change their practice.

For more information read the article in The Guardian.

Insights from Biovault

“Here at Biovault we’ve had a number of questions recently regarding an article that appeared in the Guardian on Friday (26th April).  It was a serious article about a possibility of a change in NHS procedure concerning the timing of clamping the umbilical cord, well done to Christina Patterson at the Guardian, as we thought it was a well written article and she managed to add a little humour into a serious subject.”

“In essence the article outlines that the NHS is considering changing its policy of routinely clamping the umbilical cord immediately after birth, and instead, waiting 2-5 minutes to allow the baby to receive the maximum amount of blood. Amongst other benefits research has found that this can significantly reduce the chances of the toddler becoming anaemic, current levels are at approximately 10%.”

“Many of our customers are concerned however that this may affect collection of cord blood for stem cell storage. Fortunately this is not the case, here at Biovault we agree with the advice from The Royal College of Midwives, the World Health Organisation and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in that whenever possible (it is not also possible to wait for every mother) to wait a short time for the baby to receive the benefit of the additional blood.”

“The additional 2-5 minutes that has been suggested does not affect cord blood collection, in fact Biovault is very clear that the collection of cord blood should not interfere with the birthing process and it is up to the midwife to decide if it is safe collect the cord blood. The health and well-being of mum and baby are the number one priority.”

BSc (Hons) Microbiology

Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.


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