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In the name of god. Effect of Timing of Umbilical Cord Clamp on Newborns’ Iron Status and its Relation to Delivery Type. Archives of Iranian Medicine, Volume 13, Number 5, September 2010. Fariba Shirvani MD, Mitra Radfar MD, Mojgan Hashemieh MD, Mohamad Hossein Soltanzadeh MD ,

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effect of timing of umbilical cord clamp on newborns iron status and its relation to delivery type

Effect of Timing of Umbilical Cord Clamp onNewborns’ Iron Status and its Relationto Delivery Type


FaribaShirvani MD,

  • MitraRadfar MD,
  • MojganHashemieh MD,
  • MohamadHosseinSoltanzadeh MD ,
  • Hossein Khaledi MD,
  • Mohammad Alavi Mogadam MD,
  • Delivery centre of Imam Hossein Hospital
study type
Study type:
  • observational cohort study
study date
Study date:

from Oct 2007 to

March 2008.

inclusion criteria
Inclusion criteria:
  • delivered from uncomplicated pregnancies
study samples
Study samples:

hospital born newborns delivered by either vaginal or cesarean section and their mothers

exclusion criteria newborns
EXclusion criteria(newborns):
  • twin or asphyxiated deliveries,
  • first 24 hours after birth icterus,
  • congenital malformations,
  • hyaline membrane or respiratory distress syndrome,
  • sepsis,
  • birth weight <2000 g
  • gestational age <35 weeks.
exclusion criteria mothers
EXclusion criteria(mothers):
  • mothers with history of eclampsia, preeclampsia, severe heart or renal disease, severe antepartum hemorrhage, Hgb greater than 10 gm/dL, and history of more than five deliveries
sample size
  • In order to detect a 0.7 gm/dLdifference in serum Hgb with an SD of 1.5 gm/dL between the two groups after 48 hours of delivery, with a power 90% and (α=5%), a total of sample size of 100 newborns was required for the study.
  • From Oct 2007 – March 2008, 100 mother-infant eligible pairs were selected randomly(50 VAGINAL AND 50 CESARIAN SECTION)and observed for cord clamp timing.
  • Groups(mother newborn pairs) with Cord clamp duration(<15 s and >15 s) (30 cases with LESS than 15 sec and 70 cases with MORE than 15 sec) were compared for hematologic value determination between the two groups.
  • At the time of delivery, maternal venous blood (2 mL) was collected in vials that contained EDTA in order to estimate Hgb and hematocrit (Hct) levels.
  • From the infants, 4 mL of blood was taken 48 hours after delivery in both plain tubes and EDTA-containing vials to estimate Hgb, Hct, and ferritin levels.
  • Ferritin assay samples were centrifuged and the serum was separated into a sealed tube and stored at -20°C until evaluated.
  • Data analysis was performed with SPSS for Windows statistical package (version 13).
data analysis
Data analysis:
  • Baseline characteristics and measurements were compared across groups with the Chi-square statistic for categorical variables and Student’s t-test for continuous variables.
data analysis1
Data analysis:
  • Group means were compared by using the t student significant difference test.
  • All results were based on two-tailed tests and a P value of 0.05

Ninety percent of vaginal delivery cases were from the late cord clamping group, which was significantP<0.001).


Multivariate-regression analyses

were performed to rule out the effects of potentially confounding variables on infant Hct and Hgb at 48 hours postpartum.


The differences among groups remained significant after control for:

Gestational age,

mother’s age and weight,

infant birth weight,

and number of children in the family (P<0.01).


Simple linear regression analysis between the time of cutting the cord and newborn Hct and Hgb levels 48 hours postpartum showed a positive effect due to early cord clamping on newborn Hgb in the Loess scatter plot

(Figure 1).

  • Based on statistical results, the recommendation regarding the optimal time to clamp the umbilical cord for all infants (approximately three or more minutes after birth), is completely logical.
  • Infants delivered vaginally had significantly more delayed cord clamp times (>15 s; P<0.001).

Perhaps the most important finding is that the beneficial effects of late cord clamping appear to extend beyond the early neonatal period.

Documented results estimated a significant (47%) reduction in the risk of anemia and a 33% reduction in the risk of having deficient iron stores at ages two to three months that occur with late clamping.


Although this is of particular importance for developing countries in which anemia during infancy and childhood is highly prevalent, it is likely to have an important impact on all newborns, regardless of birth setting.


It’s our great pleasure to thank the staff and the Chief of the Delivery Center of Imam Hossein Hospital,


Dr. Z. Shahverdi and Laboratory personnel


FaezehMaryamTajali for their assistance in this study.