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.
We are going to look at a couple things:
-the normal hospital protocol
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.
Umbilical Cord Banking
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?!
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 and needs it to thrive and do well at 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.
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.