Children grow smarter when their umbilical cords are clamped 3 minutes later

A new study suggests that a delay in clamping the cord in newborn males improves moor skills and social skills later in childhood. Previous studies have also shown that cord clamping has other benefits for newborns, such as increased iron levels in the blood.

The study had 263 Swedish children as participants, all carried to full term, who were part of an earlier study with 382 participants concerning cord clamping.

The babies in the earlier studies were grouped randomly, one having their cord clamped, at most, ten seconds after being born and the other having their cords clamped at least three minutes after. Despite similar level of intelligence after four years, there were some interesting differences between the two groups.

The children were tested on their IQ, motor skills, and behaviors. For both groups, brain development and behavior scores were similar, along with a negligible difference in IQ scores.  However, children in in the delayed clamping group scored better in tests for fine motor skills and had a better mastery of some social domains.

This difference was only noticeable in the male group because, researchers hypothesized, a deficiency in Iron occurs more often in male infants than email infants. According to lead author Dr. Ola Andersson of Uppsala University in Sweden “Girls have higher iron stores when they are born.”

 

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