Want a Smarter Baby?

We, like most natural clinics, have taught parents-to-be some essentials for their new delivery. One of the things we teach is to have a birth plan that includes timeliness in clamping/cutting the umbilical cord. “Always demand they wait until the blood slows pumping through the cord,” our instructions have been which has not always brought delight to the hospital delivery staff trying to keep to their specified time budget.

As a matter of fact, most of the things we have instructed new parents have rubbed standard medicine the wrong way. We have been called kooks and quacks but now research is starting to confirm our crazy methods. While there is a little disgust that what we have been proclaiming as truth for so long is now being touted as “new discovery” we are happy that eyes are finally being opened.

The latest JAMA Pediatrics study finds that delayed umbilical cord clamping is associated with better fine motor and social skills at preschool age, at least among boys.

Researchers studied some 250 children who had been randomized to delayed cord clamping (at least 3 minutes after delivery) or early clamping (no more than 10 seconds) at birth. At roughly 4 years of age, children underwent tests measuring IQ and fine motor skills, and their parents reported on their behavior and social development.

The primary outcome — IQ score — did not differ between the groups. However, some measures of fine motor skills (e.g., drawing within a bicycle trail) and personal-social skills were significantly better in the delayed-clamping group.