#WaitForWhite #EveryBabyPossible
 ​our UK-wide campaign to ensure ‘delayed’ or ‘optimal’ cord clamping is enjoyed by #EveryBabyPossible

Our survey showed that as many as 40% of UK babies may not be getting Optimal Cord Clamping, in spite of guidelines.

Our first press release has now been sent out, you can read it here. 

Coverage in the Metro

Coverage from Tommy’s

Did you know?

Around a third of your baby’s blood volume is still in the placenta at birth? and that, if you wait to clamp and cut the cord (known as Optimal or Delayed Clamping – OCC or DCC) then…

  • Your baby can gain up to 214g in the first 5 minutes following birth 

  • Your baby will have increased iron stores and less chance of anaemia 

  • Your baby will have a higher ratio of red blood cells meaning more oxygen to vital organs

  • Your baby will get more stem cells which function as building blocks for the immune system and promote long-term health

and did you also know – 

  • Premature babies can benefit from OCC

  • Babies born by caesarean can have OCC

  • ANY baby however they are born should experience OCC unless their heart rate is lower than 60 beats per minute, and not getting faster, which is extremely rare.

We now have the evidence that there is absolutely no need or urgency to cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth. We also know that there are many benefits in waiting one minute at the absolute minimum (preferably longer) or until the cord has turned white and stopped pulsating, before clamping and cutting. Indeed, current NICE guidelines inform professionals that they should delay cord clamping in ALL circumstances, regardless of the TYPE of delivery – and only cut the cord immediately if the baby’s heart rate is lower than 60 beats per minute, and not getting faster. 

Researchers and campaigners have been asking health care practitioners to #WaitForWhite for several years. However, here at the PBM we hear many birth stories in which delayed or optimal clamping does not take place, in spite of the fact that there are not issues with the heart rate of their baby. 

We want to challenge this, and make sure that #EveryBabyPossible gets the benefits of optimal or delayed clamping (OCC / DCC).

This campaign began with a simple survey, for parents whose babies had been born in the UK in the last 3 years, to establish just who IS getting OCC,  and what information parents are being given about this practice.

The survey had over 3500 responses, and found that 40% of UK parents felt 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 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.

The next steps

Now that these figures have been established, we now hope to raise awareness of this problem via social media, and ensure that in future, we #waitforwhite for #everybabypossible.

This campaign is supported by midwife Amanda Burleigh, who has campaigned for OCC for over a decade. Read her blog, Everything you need to know about Optimal Cord Clamping. 

Amanda Burleigh has been in Midwifery practice for over 27 years.
Over ten years ago Amanda began to challenging the practice of immediate cord clamping after realising that this common routine practice had absolutely no evidence base and deprived babies of valuable stem cell enriched full blood. Amanda has campaigned for a change in practice from immediate cord clamping to delayed cord clamping and has seen all national and international guidelines change their guidance to recommend this. Amanda is a co-inventor of the award winning Basics/Lifestart trolley which enables vulnerable babies to be ventilated whilst the umbilical cord is kept intact to ensure they receive their full blood benefit. Amanda has written many articles and talked at numerous events about optimal cord clamping and changing practice and fully harnessed the power of social media by participating in an international network of midwives, doctors, birth-workers and parents who share and disseminate the latest in research and education regarding optimal cord clamping.  
Amanda has been nominated and won several awards for her work in this area including Midwife of the Year 2015, British Journal of Midwifery and Midwife of the Year 2012, Yorkshire Evening Post. She works with and supports midwives in other countries to enable them to give informed choice and practical guidance in optimal cord clamping.
Infographics courtesy of Hannah Tizard:

Hannah Tizard’s Blood to Baby campaign is helping to raise awareness about delayed cord clamping, all the resources can be ordered and delivered free of charge from the website The campaign has global reach and has been shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives Evidence into Practice Award 2016.


Thanks to the following organisations for supporting
#waitforwhite #everybabypossible


If your organisation would like to lend their support to this campaign, please get in touch. 

If you would like to support us in any other way, please get in touch. 
#waitforwhite #everybabypossible