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Banking Cord Blood – Dangerous Truth About Cord Blood

September 15, 2010

Umbilical cord blood or simply ‘cord blood’ is the blood that is flowing from the placenta to your baby.  It is full of oxygen and important stem cells.

Routinely, immediately after the baby is born (within seconds) the umbilical cord is clamped, cut and discarded.

Some people believe that the blood, cord, and placenta is taken,  harvested and used whether or not you give your consent….you are led to believe the placenta, umbilical cord, and blood was just thrown away.

Banking Cord Blood

You might ask, ‘why would you want to save the cord blood?’

Because cord blood is a rich source of stem cells.  Stem cells are very important, unspecialized cells, blank cells, that produce all other blood cells.  These include:

  • Platelets – needed for blood clotting
  • Red Blood Cells (RBC) -transport oxygen throughout your body
  • White Blood Cells (WBC) – help fight disease

Stem cells are vital to one’s health.

You can choose to store your newborn baby’s cord blood at a private cord-bank or donate to a public cord bank.  If you store it privately – you pay $1,500 – 2,000 plus a yearly storage fee.

Why Deprive Your Baby Of It’s Own Blood?!

To me it  just doesn’t seem logical  to pay someone to store your baby’s cord blood or to donate or discard the cord blood that is full of oxygen, stem cells and nutrients. This blood is vital to YOUR baby’s health today and needs it to thrive and do well at the time of birth.

How Is The Umbilical/Placental Blood Collected?

All hospitals may not use the exact same method to collect the cord blood. Usually the doctor or nurse inserts a needle into a vein of the umbilical cord and drains the blood into a blood bag. This can be done before or after the mother delivers the placenta. The collection process takes less than 10 minutes

– The blood is flowing into a bag instead of your baby…

What Happens If You Routinely Clamp The Umbilical Cord Immediately?

Here is a partial list:

  • Baby is deprived of up to 50% of its normal blood volume
  • Baby on the fast track to becoming anemic (iron deficient)
  • Baby is robbed of the very important stem cells
  • Baby will often need supplemental oxygen if the cord is clamped too soon.
  • Baby’s brain may go without oxygen for a little bit while the lungs learn how to breath and get the oxygen to all the places it needs to go.

I hope this encourages you to do pursue your options and with your next baby have them wait to clamp and cut the umbilical cord, allowing your baby to get all the blood it was designed to receive in the first place at birth.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    May 12, 2011 3:48 pm

    You can delay clamping and collect blood AFTER the cord has stopped pulsing. We did this and donated my daughter’s cord blood to a public bank. And yes, we waited several minutes before collection.
    There are few options for donating to public banks- unless you live at a hospital that collects for the public banks. The company we used was Cryobanks- it was the only one I could find at the time (2007) and has both options of private paid storage and public donation.
    I researched them before I got the kit, but I also viewed the instructions– they actually specified to WAIT till the cord stopped pulsing in the instructions. Since many birth attendants (shamefully) automatically clamp, I was already asking a lot of questions to my midwife to ensure that waiting was her standard procedure (it is). You would need to be sure the person collecting was willing and able to delay cord cutting. and I do remember that different companies had different protocols. Cryobanks was the only “kit” I found we could use since none of the public banks collect at a hospital near me.

    The only downside is that you might not get enough for a full collection- but for us, we didn’t need to bank cord blood for any medical reason– (and most medical problems need an non-familial donor anyways). I think paying for private storage is a huge scaremongering business- public banking WITH delayed cord cutting is the best of all options. It doesn’t take away from what your child would get naturally and the donation to a public bank ensures that more people that need cord blood/stem cells have access.
    If you had a known family history that indicated the need for cord blood- then you’d have to do a lot of research and weigh the risk of early(ier) collection verses the benefit to the child. There’s usually a lot of blood in the cord and placenta that the baby gets exactly what s/he needs and there is a lot left over. Because premature clamping is actually too common in the US, and donation so rare, I don’t think there is much known about how often the collection comes up short- but it sounded pretty rare among the midwives doing this.

    I copied this from Cryobanks facebook page:
    Lifeforce Cryobanks is a National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) umbilical cord blood processing and storage bank accredited by the AABB (formerly called the American Association of Blood Banks) in cord blood activities, licensed for tissue banking operations by the New York and New Jersey State Departments of Health and registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

    • theCmom permalink
      May 16, 2011 2:57 pm

      Thanks! excellent info.

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