In a recently published study, the researchers noted that milking of the umbilical cord just before it was cut in preterm infants was found to significantly improve the flow of blood. This was in scenarios where cesarean section was used during the delivery.

The study showed that increased blood flow in infants that are born prematurely in their circulatory system from their umbilical cord is incredibly beneficial. The overall result of this as noted by the study was the improvement of the levels of red blood cells, improved blood pressure as well as prevention of bleeding that can happen in the brain as a result.

The benefits of cord milking

This study showed the many benefits of cord milking in these infants. This is essentially done by using the forefinger and the thumb to squeeze the child’s umbilical cord gently. This gently pushes the blood towards the abdomen of the child. The researchers found this to be very helpful where caesarean section was used as a means of delivery.

In the typical scenario, the doctors usually wait for a period of between 30 and 60 seconds upon delivery so that they can cut the baby’s cord. This time is essentially thought to be sufficient to allow the blood vessels in lungs to be completely filled with blood. In addition, this also increases the pressure of blood to normal levels while at the same time aiding in the prevention of brain hemorrhage. The study was mounted by the researchers after it was found out that when caesarean section was used during the delivery, the infants were unable to get sufficient flow of blood from their umbilical cord. This simply requires that more time is taken before the umbilical cord is cut. In their theory, they noted that the anesthetic used during the C- section delivery reduces the contractions of the uterine which affects blood flow from the kid’s umbilical cord.

How the study was undertaken

During the study, 197 mothers were included whereby C-section was used to deliver 154 children. They were randomly split into various groups whereby cord milking would be used or not before the umbilical cord is cut. When milking of the umbilical cord is done before the cutting, the kids are found to have a higher flow of blood, higher hemoglobin levels and higher blood pressure as well.

These results are incredibly encouraging. However, the researchers noted that there is need for this to be confirmed by using births of a larger number. Nevertheless, it appears that at this point, milking of the umbilical cord could prove to be incredibly beneficial to the preterm infants that are delivered through cesarean.