I'd like to share with you most of of chapter 11 on the importance of delayed cord clamping:
"Nature, they say, doesn't move forward in sudden leaps. Yet birth is just such a leap forward. An exchange of worlds, of levels. How can we resolve this contradiction? How does Nature make a smooth a transition who's very essence is so violent?
Very simply. Nature is a strict mother, but a loving one. Everything about birth is arranged so that both the leap and the landing are made as easy as possible.
The danger the child faces at birth has quite properly been stressed. The danger is anoxia: a deficiency of oxygen to which the nervous system is so sensitive. So at all costs the child must not lack oxygen, not even for an instant.
Nature has arranged it so that during the dangerous passage of birth, the child is recieving oxygen from two sources rather than one: from the lungs and the umbilicus.
Two systems functioning simulatneously, one relieving the other: the old one, the umbilicus, continues to supply oxygen to the baby until the new one, the lungs, has fully taken it's place. However, once the infant has been born and delivered from the mother, it remains bound by her umbilicu which continues to beat for several long minutes: four, five...sometimes more.
Oxygenated by the umbilicus, sheltered from anoxia, the baby can settle into breathing without danger and without shock. At leisure, without rush. In addition, the blood has plenty of time to abandon its old route (which leads to the placenta) and progressively fills the pulmonary circulatory system. During this time in parallel fashion, an orifice closes in the heart which seals off the old route forever.
What is required for this miracle to take place? Only a little patience. Only a refusal to rush things. Only knowing enough to wait, giving the child time to adjust."
He goes on in further chapters to tell us the enormous difference this makes to the infant, When we refrain from interfering and protect the umbilicus we double the oxygen supply to the brain so the baby's brain is never threatened and nothing occurs to trigger the alarm system and there is no attack to the system, no anoxia, no panic, no anguish. The baby enters gently into the world.
I highly recommend this beautiful book that honors and respects Mother Nature and her beautiful, perfect design for birth. It's a short easy read. Check your library for a copy, it's worth your time!