Collecting Cord Blood

The collecting, or harvesting, of your babies cord blood needs to be arranged before the birth. Most banks require that arrangements are made by the 34th week of pregnancy since most babies are not born on their due date. Cord blood cannot be collected without a mother�s written consent.


When it Happens

Cord blood is collected after the umbilical cord is cut. Umbilical cord blood collection does not hurt you or your baby in any way. It will not interrupt the care you receive after the birth.

Your health care provider will collect the blood using the kit that your cord blood bank has provided you with.


How it Happens

There are generally two ways of collecting the blood. How your baby�s blood is collected will depend on the cord blood bank you have chosen to use.

Blood bag collection involves your health care provider inserting a needle into the umbilical vein and, with the assistance of gravity, draining the blood into a bag. Once the blood has stopped flowing, the bag will be sealed and labeled by your health care provider. This method is usually done before the placenta is delivered.

Syringe collection is similar to blood bag collection except that the blood is drawn into syringes containing anticoagulants (a substance that prevents the blood from clotting). The blood will be stored in the syringes instead of in blood bags. This method can be done before or after the placenta is delivered. It is thought to be a more reliable way of collecting blood. It also allows for a greater amount of blood to be collected.

Regardless of which method is utilized, the whole process of collection takes less than five minutes. The blood should be collected within 10 to 15 minutes after the birth. Waiting longer than this will result in less blood being collecting and therefore fewer stem cells.


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