The Collection of Umbilical Cord Blood

The collection of umbilical cord blood is not something that can take place on a whim; it’s something that the parents of a child need to think about long before the birth of their baby. Cord blood collection is a process that has to be planned for, and parents can do this by contacting a cord blood bank by the 34th week of pregnancy.

Typically, the cord blood bank will send you a kit in the mail that should be used by doctors or other trained staff at the time of your delivery. There will usually be precise instructions enclosed for your understanding as well as the understanding of how the blood is to be collected. The kit is usually needed for most cord blood banks to accept the sample, as that is the only way that they can verify that the blood has not been contaminated or processed inappropriately.

Cord blood collection really varies from bank to bank as well as from hospital to hospital. What will typically happen is that you’ll deliver your baby as you normally would, and instead of just throwing away the placenta and umbilical cord, they will be set aside briefly and then a trained staff member will drain the blood from the cord and placenta. The process usually involves pulling the blood out of the umbilical cord and placenta with a needle and then into vials or blood bags. Cord blood collection will usually result in three to five ounces of blood, any less than that may be rejected by the blood bank. The process of draining of the blood from the umbilical cord usually takes ten minutes or less, so it’s not a lengthy process and neither the mother nor the child needs to be there for the collection to take place.

After the blood is collected, each blood bank has different preferences as to how the blood will make it back to the bank. Instructions will be enclosed and your medical staff will know how to proceed. As you can see, cord blood collection doesn’t have to take away from the beauty of the birthing process, so you don’t have to be worried about that when planning for cord blood storage or donation.

While the process of cord blood donation may take some planning, you’ll find that it’s an easy way to safeguard your child’s help in the future. No amount of planning is too much when you are talking about the welfare of your child. Planning for cord blood donation may not be the most comfortable experience if you think about the negative situations in which you may need the blood, so focus on the fact that it’s just a form of insurance, something that will be better to have someday, just in case.


Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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