Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE / 17.04.2014 Interview with: Nestor E. Vain M.D. Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires Vice-President, FUNDASAMIN (Foundation for Maternal Infant Health), Argentina Director, Neonatology, Hospital Sanatorio de la Trinidad Palermo and San Isidro, Buenos Aires What is the background of this study? Prof. Vain: Delayed umbilical cord clamping (DCC) is currently recommended by many professional associations. The main reason is that it decreases the incidence of iron deficiency in infancy, a very serious public health problem in developing countries, but also prevalent in the USA and in western Europe. Besides it has other advantages in premature infants such as better adaptation of the cardiovascular system to extra-uterine life. How does Delayed umbilical cord clamping work?. Approximately 30% of the fetal blood volume is in the placenta at the time of delivery. Waiting for a couple of minutes before clamping the cord allows for a large part of that blood volume to return to the infant. (this process is known as placental transfusion) Despite of these well known facts, and the absence of serious complications, the compliance with the recommendation of delayed umbilical cord clamping is low. Why is that? There may be a variety of reasons but we are certain that one very important one is that the majority of obstetricians and neonatologists believe that to achieve an efficient placental transfusion and to avoid a negative effect from gravity, it is necessary to hold the infant at or below the level of the vagina during those 2 minutes. In that way the procedure is cumbersome and it prolongs unwillingly a separation between the infant and the mother. The believe that the infant needs to be at that low level is based on small studies performed more than 35 years ago. (more…)