Midwifery and nursing: Considerations on cord management at birth

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Mounting evidence overwhelmingly supports the practice of the return of an infant's placental blood volume at the time of birth. Waiting just a few minutes before clamping the umbilical cord can provide health benefits to infants of all gestational ages. Despite the robust evidence, uptake of delayed cord clamping (DCC) into mainstream obstetrical practice is moving slowly. The practice of DCC is influenced by various factors that include the setting in which the birth takes place, the use of evidence-informed guidelines and other influences that facilitate or hinder the practice of DCC. Through communication, collaboration, and unique disciplinary perspectives, midwives and nurses work with other members of their respective care team to develop strategies for best practice to improve an infant's well-being through optimal cord management. Midwifery has been practiced for centuries throughout the world and midwives have supported DCC since the beginning of recorded history. An important tenet of midwifery philosophy is watchful waiting and non-intervention in normal processes. Nurses are vital to care of birthing families in- and out-of-hospitals as well as in prenatal and postpartum ambulatory care. Nurses and midwives are positioned to be involved in the process of adapting to the mounting evidence for DCC. Strategies to increase better utilization of the practice of DCC have been proposed. For all, teamwork and collaboration among disciplines participating in maternity care are essential for adapting to the new evidence. Involving midwives and nurses as partners in an interdisciplinary approach to plan, implement and sustain DCC at birth increases success.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Seminars in Perinatology