Placental circulation after birth: Is it beneficial or pathological?
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an urgent ongoing need

fetal to postnatal circulation





Question Authority




Contact: Eileen Nicole Simon
Placental circulation continues for several minutes after birth, and traditionally has been viewed
as nature's way of easing the transition from fetal to postnatal circulation and respiration.  
Recent opinion, on the other hand, appears to regard placental transfusion as pathological,
and a potential cause of circulatory overload and jaundice in the newborn infant.
This website was developed to question whether this break with tradition might be unsafe:
Apgar:  p2
Home:  p1
Oxygen:  p3
Transition:  p4
Apgar's 1953 paper is
online -- note that a
satisfactory cry has
sometimes not been
established, even
when the infant leaves
the delivery room.
The hazards of
childbirth have long
been recognized.  
Human interventions
developed in efforts to
increase safety for
mother and child.
Oxygen is the most
urgent ongoing need
for all species
dependent for survival
on aerobic metabolism.
Transition from placental
to pulmonary circulation
involves closing of shunts
in the heart, and may
require many minutes.
Outcomes:  p7 & ongoing
Concerns:  p8 & NCS1-13
Tradition:  p5
Protocols:  pp6-6f
Asphyxia of six or more
minutes at birth results
in visible lesions within
the brainstem.  
Impairment of function
may occur even earlier.
A paper submitted to the
National Children's
Study (NCS) expressing
concerns about the
protocol for umbilical
cord clamping.
Traditional teaching was
to wait for the infant's first
breath, or better for
pulsations of the
umbilical cord to cease
before clamping it off.
Recent obstetric
protocols include
clamping the umbilical
cord within seconds of
birth, even before the
first breath.
Notes:  p12 & ongoing
References:  p10
Links:  p11
Question Authority:  p9
Links to other
relevant websites
(work in progress)
Notes on topics relevant
to childbirth practices
and outcomes (work in
Draw up a birthing plan.  
Ask about obstetric
protocols. Ask why allowing
placental respiration after
birth wouldn't be
preferable to immediate
clamping of the umbilical
A large bibliography
(work in progress)
mainly about autism
and its association
with complications
at birth.
where and when
additions and
changes are made.
I could be wrong.  
Please let me know
what you think.
Posted: February 27, 2006
(a work in progress)