Collecting Cord Blood after Delivery
Whether you have decided to store your baby’s cord blood at a private storage bank or whether you have decided to donate your newborn’s cord blood, there are some steps you need to take before your bundle of joy is due. Researching private blood storage banks and finding out if your hospital participates in any donor programs should be added to an expectant parent’s to do list before the 30th week.
Whether you are storing or donating, you must make sure to receive the cord blood collection kit from the chosen cord blood bank. If you are storing your newborn’s blood privately, you will be charged for this service. If you are donating your baby’s blood, some hospitals might already keep a cord blood collection kit on hand, so may not have to bring one with you to your delivery.
With a normal vaginal delivery, the cord blood is collected before the placenta is delivered. The umbilical cord is clamped on both sides and then an experienced obstetrician or a nurse will unclamp one side of the umbilical cord and insert either a small tube or a small needle into the umbilical vein to collect the blood. Other times, the blood is dripped into either a vial or a special collection bag. After this is collected, a needle could also be placed into the placenta to collect more blood and cells. These cells will be in their own containers and properly identified.
During a cesarean or C-section birth, the collection process is a little more complicated but still causes no pain to the mother or to the baby. During C-sections, a doctor’s main focus is the mother and baby. After all, this is a major surgery and there are a number of complications that can arise. It is only after the baby has been safely delivered, along with the placenta and the mother’s uterus has been sutured that the cord blood can be collected. Usually though less blood is collected when the baby is delivered via C-section. That can sometimes be a problem, because less blood collected also means fewer stem cells collected and stored. Some doctors feel that there is too big of a risk of contamination by collecting cord blood after a C-section, but for the most part most public and private cord storage banks have taken the proper steps to reduce the risk of contamination by providing sterile kit components.