Responding to her tweet, NCT President Seana Talbot said:
Their tweets come after a new survey of 3500+ UK parents, commissioned by the Positive Birth Movement, found that 40% of UK parents say that their baby did not benefit from a delay before the umbilical cord was clamped and cut, contrary to guidance from the clinical body NICE that states the cord should be left for between 1 and 5 minutes.
The survey of over 3500 parents who gave birth in the UK between 2015 and 2017, found that, whilst over 90% were aware of the benefits of Optimal Cord Clamping (OCC), and 75% specifically requested it either in their birth plan or during labour, 40% of parents reported that their babies did not receive OCC, with an alarming 31% stating that their baby's cord was clamped in less than a minute. One fifth of respondents stated the cord was cut immediately.
"Many parents may be unaware that Optimal Cord Clamping is not just possible after a caesarean birth, but really important!", said Midwife Amanda Burleigh, an expert in OCC who is supporting the #everybabypossible campaign. "Evidence shows that immediate cord clamping causes anaemia. Caesarian section babies need their blood volume and red blood cells just as much as vaginal deliveries and at least one minute transition to extra uterine life by delaying clamping the cord is easily facilitated and necessary for the future health of the newborn."
Founder of The Positive Birth Movement, Milli Hill, who is behind the campaign, added:
"The idea of singing to newborns is possibly slightly tongue in cheek, and may not be what every parent wants, but it's a light hearted way of drawing attention to the fact that too many babies - caesarean born or otherwise - are not getting the many health benefits of optimal clamping.
It's not just about physical health benefits either. I think immediate cord clamping very much harks back to a time when it was felt that the hospital 'owned the baby' - the clinicians hands were the first to touch them, their cords were cut and they were even whisked off for an immediate bath and a bottle of formula in the nursery - all without consent. We now live in different times, in which women are becoming much more aware of their rights around birth and that the baby actually belongs to them, and nobody else.
It's time for the practice around cord cutting to catch up with this. Clinicians need to take a step back and be more patient around the moment of birth. If singing to the baby is a creative and friendly way of getting them to do this, then so be it!"
NCT President Seana Talbot agrees: "I requested (and got) optimal cord clamping for my third baby, 17 years ago", she said. "I was lucky that I had access to information back then, and included it in my birth plan. But isn't it interesting how long it takes for practice to change, and for good ideas, backed up by evidence, to become mainstream? The theory-practice gap is real! Amanda Burleigh and others have done a great job on campaigning for change, and the recent research reinforces the need to keep shouting about this! #Waitforwhite is such a simple idea, yet has profound implications for babies health. Singing Happy Birthday (slowly) takes the best part of a minute, and could be a lovely thing to do while waiting."
Campaign page on the PBM website: http://www.positivebirthmovement.org/latest-campaigns.html
Telegraph article about campaigner Amanda Burleigh: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/midwife-my-10-year-fight-to-prove-that-cutting-the-cord-too-soon-puts-babies-at-risk/
"Everything you need to know about Optimal Cord Clamping"
Optimal Cord Clamping Facebook Page www.facebook.com/optimalclamping/
Milli Hill, Positive Birth Movement, 077 391 391 15