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Umbilical cord milking for anemia prevention.

Umbilical cord milking--the process of squeezing blood through the cord toward the baby after delivery--may protect newborns from anemia, which is associated with cognitive impairment and child mortality. To determine whether umbilical cord milking improved newborns' serum levels of hemoglobin and the iron-storing protein ferritin, researchers conducted a randomized control trial among 200 term and near-term infants born at one North India teaching hospital between April 2010 and September 2011. (1) At six weeks of age, infants in the intervention group--whose cord had been milked three times before it was clamped near the umbilicus within 30 seconds of delivery--had a mean hemoglobin level of 11.9g/dL and a mean serum ferritin level of 355.9ug/L. In comparison, infants in the control group--whose cord had been clamped near the umbilicus within 30 seconds of delivery, but was not milked--had significantly lower mean hemoglobin and mean serum ferritin levels (10.8g/dL and 177.5ug/L, respectively). The authors conclude that milking "improves [hemoglobin] and iron status at 6 weeks" and that the procedure "can be used in term and near term babies as a routine" for the prevention of anemia.

(1.) Upadhyay A et al., Effect of umbilical cord milking in term and near term infants: randomized control trial, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2013, 208(2):120.el-e6.

Update is compiled and written by Jared Rosenberg, senior editor of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

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Title Annotation:UPDATE
Author:Rosenberg, Jared
Publication:International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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