I wish we had a birthing center around were I live!
The body has a natural rhythm and vibration in general, so does the cord. Interfering with this pulse can "throw" the body/person into disarray. I believe it is still unknown to what degree prematurely clamping the cord affects the holistic life of the mother, and baby.
Founder/Organic Mommy & Baby Healthcare Solutions
I saw the benefits when I was assisting home birth. When the laboring woman has not been given pitocin, narcotics or an epidural the baby tends to have greater reserves--the baby responds better to stress. But sometimes a long pushing phase, or pressure on the umbilical cord during pushing leads to a baby that is blue. In the hospital we cut the cord and run the baby over to the warmer and give oxygen.
In the home setting, a baby that is (but breathes and cries with stimulation) is placed on the mother's chest, skin to skin and the cord is left intact. The blood that is still passing through the umbical cord assists with transition. The skin to skin contact with mother has a positive effect also. I remember being amazed at how well the baby recovered.
Note: we had oxygen and ambu bags with us at the homebirth
Delayed cord clamping is very good most of the time- unless you live at high altitude, then maybe not. The baby can be at higher risk of jaundice and polycythemia.
I first learned about delayed clamping from my midwife, and then went on to discover so much more about "Third Stage Labor" in a fabulous book entitled, 'Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering' by Sarah Buckley MD. I delivered my daughter here at home (just 11 days ago!), and we did not clamp her cord until after her placenta was delivered and stopped pulsating. It was amazing to feel her little body against mine and literally watch her placenta continue to nourish her in her first moments outside my womb.
I can't say enough as to how wonderful it was to bring our daughter into the world in the serenity of our own home, it was a beautiful experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. And having had both experiences (hospital delivery with our 1st, homebirth with our 2nd), I can say from experience that those choices that don't necessarily "fit in" with the normal hospital procedure are not only respected, but supported.
This is a great book, I have the pdf and it is a wealth of information on this topic - I highly recommend it and the proceeds go to Robin Lim's birth center in Bali
There is an excellent video on youtube of a presentation by Dr. Nick Fogelson about this subject.
Here's the link if you want to check it out. It was really refreshing to see a mainstream OB/GYN embrace the evidence-based research that supports Delayed Cord Clamping.