Thousands of pre-term babies could be saved by waiting 60 seconds before clamping the umbilical cord, according to new research released today.
Auckland University's Katie Groom is now urging doctors and midwives to adopt the practise after it was found that delayed clamping cuts the risk of death of by a third.
"It's really a phenomenal difference for such a simple intervention and one that we now know we've got sufficient evidence that we should change our practise," Dr Groom told 1 NEWS.
While delayed clamping is standard practise with normal births it's not always for pre-term ones.
It was assumed that premature babies needed help breathing, now doctors know most will start breathing on their own within a minute.
Doctors now urged to adopt the practise for the 5000 premature babies born in NZ every year.