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Cord Blood Collection and Storage
Banking cord blood is an easy, non-invasive and painless process, and it can be collected following a vaginal or cesarean birth. After the umbilical cord has been clamped or cut, the cord blood is collected.
Talk to your health care provider about your decision to collect and store your baby’s cord blood, and then contact a public cord blood bank or a private cord blood bank. Upon arriving at the hospital to deliver your baby, remind the labor and delivery team that you are collecting your baby’s cord blood.
Collecting Cord Blood
After the baby is born, your health care provider will collect the cord blood either through a syringe method or a bag method. With the syringe method, a syringe is used to draw blood from the umbilical cord shortly after it has been cut — a process similar to drawing blood for a blood test. With the bag method, the umbilical cord is elevated to cause the blood to drain into a bag until it stops (about two to four minutes). The bag is then clamped, sealed and labeled with a unique number that represents your baby.
Cord blood may be collected during the first 15 minutes after the baby is born. Following collection, the cord blood is sent to a laboratory for processing and testing within 48 hours. The cord blood is then frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor.
Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood can be stored either at a public cord blood bank or a private cord blood bank. In a public bank, cord blood is donated anonymously to be used by any patient in need. In a private cord blood bank, the cord blood is stored for future use for the child or the child’s family members.
Collection, processing, and preservation methods for cord blood may vary depending on which cord blood company you choose. Current scientific research holds that cord blood will remain viable when stored for an indefinite period of time.