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Fine motor skills improved by delayed cord clamping

28 May, 2015

Fine motor skills improved by delayed cord clamping

Delayed cord clamping (DCC) is associated with better fine motor skills, according to new research. 

Swedish researchers showed the importance of the umbilical cord to newborn infants several years ago and, in a follow-up study published in JAMA Pediatrics, they show there is a link between DCC and fine motor skills at age four.

It was particularly evident in boys.

In the first clinical study, which comprised 400 newborns, the research team looked at the risk of iron deficiency at four months. 

They found that it was considerably lower in infants whose umbilical cords were clamped and cut three minutes after birth than in those whose cords were removed within 10 seconds.

The follow-up study looked at 263 (69%) of the babies from the first research over four years.

These children’s development was investigated by means of IQ and cognitive tests, and also questionnaires for the parents.

The tests and the questionnaire responses showed that the children who had DCC had slightly better fine motor skills when they were four years old.

In the boys, DCC exerted an impact on fine motor skills.

The results reveal no difference in IQ or overall development between the children whose cords were cut early and those who underwent DCC.

Researcher and paediatrician Ola Andersson said: ‘Right from birth, girls generally have better iron stores, so boys have an elevated risk of iron deficiency. We hope our study will result in new recommendations around the world.’

To read the study, click here.

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