Keeping Cord Blood
Among all the traditional decisions that must be made when you are expecting a new baby, a new choice has been added to the mix. Now, expectant parents must also consider whether donating their child’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank is something that they believe should be done. In truth, the cord blood that is collected would not be taking anything away from their child, and would only be wasted if the parents chose not to do anything with it. It also has the potential to save a life, which is the deciding factor for most parents.
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Once the decision has been made to donate the cord blood, parents will need to discuss their choice with their doctor. This should be done at least three months before the baby is due, in order to make sure all the arrangements for collection and preservation are in place. The parents will also need to call the hospital where they plan to give birth to find out if that hospital collects cord blood for donation, and if so, to find out the procedure they have for arranging collection. They will also need to contact the public cord blood bank in their area and find out what is required of them in terms of pre-signed paperwork, delivery arrangements, and notification of the birth. Armed with all this new knowledge, the expectant parents can then relax and wait for baby to come.
Immediately after the baby’s birth, the doctor will wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing (which indicates that all the blood that can be delivered to the baby through the umbilical cord has been delivered) and then clamp and cut the cord. At this time, the medical personnel responsible for collecting the cord blood will insert a needle into the large vein in the umbilical cord and remove as much of the cord blood as possible. The placenta may be taken away with the cord blood, in order to harvest the stem cells from it as well.