Posts Tagged ‘ iron ’

Delaying Umbilical Cord Cut Could Have Health Benefits

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Leaving a newborn baby’s umbilical cord intact for at least a minute after birth may improve blood quality, specifically iron levels, in infants, and does not pose a health risk to mothers, according to a new study published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.  More from The New York Times:

[The study] found that delaying clamping for at least a minute after birth, which allows more time for blood to move from the placenta, significantly improves iron stores and hemoglobin levels in newborns and does not increase the risks to mothers.

Doctors usually clamp the umbilical cord in two locations, near the infant’s navel and then farther along the cord, then cut it between the clamps. The timing of the procedure has been controversial for years, and the new analysis adds to a substantial body of evidence suggesting that clamping often occurs too quickly after delivery.

The new paper, published on Wednesday in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, may change minds, though perhaps not immediately. “I suspect we’ll have more and more delayed cord clamping,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ecker, the chair of committee on obstetrics practice for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Newborns with later clamping had higher hemoglobin levels 24 to 48 hours postpartum and were less likely to be iron-deficient three to six months after birth, compared with term babies who had early cord clamping, the analysis found. Birth weight also was significantly higher on average in the late clamping group, in part because babies received more blood from their mothers.

Delayed clamping did not increase the risk of severe postpartum hemorrhage, blood loss or reduced hemoglobin levels in mothers, the analysis found.

“It’s a persuasive finding,” said Dr. Ecker. “It’s tough not to think that delayed cord clamping, including better iron stores and more hemoglobin, is a good thing.”

Image: Newborn baby, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Diet May Help Ease PMS Symptoms, Study Finds

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Premenstrual syndrome, which leaves many women retaining water and feeling moody, may be managed by a diet that contains the proper balance between iron and potassium, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.  More from The New York Times:

Using data from a larger analysis of women’s health, researchers studied 1,057 women with PMS and 1,968 control subjects. They used questionnaires to establish their nutrient intake, both food and supplements, and established cases of PMS by clinical diagnosis.

After controlling for various health and dietary factors, they found that women in the highest 20 percent for iron intake were about 40 percent less likely to suffer PMS as those in the lowest 20 percent.

The study, published online in The American Journal of Epidemiology, found the opposite effect with potassium. Those in the highest 20 percent of intake had a 46 percent increased risk for PMS compared with those in the lowest 20 percent. There was no risk associated with intake of magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper or sodium.

The senior author, Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts, cautioned women against taking too much iron, or consuming too little potassium, both of which can be harmful. “Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods,” she said, “is a good way to ensure that women are consuming important vitamins and minerals.”

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women ages 19-50 get 18 milligrams of iron each day, and that all adults consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily.  Iron-rich foods include beef, egg yolks, and dark leafy greens; potassium is found in bananas, baked potatoes (with skin), and white beans.

Image: Dark leafy greens, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now