Umbilical Cord Clamping and Cord Blood Collection
During pregnancy the umbilical cord is the ultimate lifeline between mother and infant—delivering all the nutrients, oxygen and blood the baby needs to thrive and grow. Today we know the umbilical cord provides so much more because of the potentially life-saving stem cells contained within. Cord blood stems cells have been proven to help treat nearly 80 life-threatening diseases; providing another sort of ‘lifeline’ long after the cord is clamped and cut.
The matter of when the umbilical cord should be clamped is one that expectant parents may consider. Some medical professionals clamp and cut the umbilical cord soon after the baby is delivered and others might wait several minutes before separating the child from the cord. Both parents and medical professionals interested in saving the cord blood stem cells often contact us to ask whether either decision could affect the ability to collect the cord blood.
The good news is that no matter when the umbilical cord is clamped, the cord blood can still be collected. The timing of cord clamping is a decision for the medical professional and the expectant family. We think it’s important to talk with your doctor about your options. He or she may have a preferred time of clamping the cord, and you can discuss that together. Keep in mind, though, that it is always the doctor’s medical prerogative to adapt as necessary depending on the circumstances of the delivery.
Whatever you decide, once the cord is clamped, the doctor will follow the same instructions for retrieving the cord blood. You can be involved in the process by encouraging your doctor to try to get as much blood as possible in the collection. As with all of our collected cord blood units, if the cell count is below 100 million total nucleated cells the family will be notified and asked whether they’d like to continue storage with ViaCord. If you decide not to, there is no fee for the collection.
To learn more about how cord blood stem cells are used today to help patients in need, read our blog posts on autologous treatments and allogeneic transplants.
You can also check out our 5 Tips to a Successful Cord Blood Collection here!