04.26.132:11 PM ET

British Doctors: Don’t Cut the Cord Too Early

The National Health Service warns that clamping down on a baby’s umbilical cord too soon could leave newborns deprived of nutrients in the placenta.

Don’t cut that cord so fast, British doctors are warning. The country’s National Health Service is calling to change a practice dating back to the 1960s of cutting the umbilical cord seconds after birth, saying it could cause newborns to be deprived of nutrients in the placenta and could lead to babies becoming anemic. Instead, medical experts say doctors should wait until it stops pulsating naturally, which is usually 30 seconds to up to five minutes after birth. Doctors hope the new advice will be included in the health system’s guidelines that will be published in 2014.