Not just pre-term, the umbilicus is remarkable in that in man and nature it will often continue to be tethered until it or whatever decides to wither and disconnect. Connected it will usually permit reaching the nipple where instinct encourages suckling. Maybe this is all about assembly line birthing and wanting to have a child that appears human and not connected by some alien hose. Animals that are healthy eat the placenta and leftovers and groom the new born to excite sensory proliferation. Oh, well, nice article on saving lives, but how about the rest of us born and cutaway prematurely?
actually, it is relatively old news, straight from "down under" (Published Online: 11 JUL 2013).
The researcher, associate Professor Philippa Middleton holds an NHMRC fellowship and is an affiliate with the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide:
Editorial Group: Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group
Published Online: 11 JUL 2013