For every 20 babies having delayed clamping one case of iron deficiency could be prevented, regardless of whether the baby had anaemia, researchers estimate.
Delayed clamping is not linked to any additional risk of neonatal jaundice or other adverse effects, they found.
The researchers said delayed cord clamping ‘should be considered as standard care for full-term deliveries after uncomplicated pregnancies.’
But there has previously been a lack of research into the practice.
A team from the Hospital of Halland in Sweden randomised 400 full-term infants to have late clamping at least three minutes after delivery, or early clamping less than 10 seconds after delivery.