I’ve read concerns that collection of cord blood for banking might cause anemia in newborn babies. When I delivered babies, I would wait (whenever possible) for the cord to stop pulsing. As a believer in natural childbirth (and student of midwives, as well as allopathic physicians), I have always believed that it’s better to make sure the baby gets all his iron at birth. Breast milk has iron, but the iron stores in the “extra” blood delivered from the placenta before the cord is clamped probably gives the newborn a needed reserve. However I know that many do not wait. Besides, babies born by Ceasarean section not only are delivered above the plane of the placenta, but the surgeons don’t have the luxury of waiting. I had never read any correlation between anemia and the timing of cord clamping, though.
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hospital Italiano in Buenos Aires, Argentina did an experiment, published in The Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics. There doesn’t appear to be any danger of an huge increase in newborn anemia from timing the clamping of the umbilical cord with the collection of blood for “banking” in mind.
As a matter of fact, the study is actually done with the assumption that some docs believe that there is too much of an increase in hematocrit (blood count) if the clamping is done late. Some docs believe that newbord jaundice is related to those “extra” red blood cells.