The umbilical cord, the placenta and the blood they contain are usually discarded after birth.
But they can be lifesaving.
Have you considered donating cord blood? It's simple and painless; it's free; and it will not affect you, the baby or the birthing process.
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. Cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells.
How is cord blood used?
Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia or sickle cell disease. These can be treated with a cord blood transplant. Cord blood transplants replace diseased blood-forming cells with healthy cells.
The treatment process is similar to a bone marrow transplant. Like marrow, cord blood is rich in stem cells, which generate red blood cells to resist disease. A cord blood unit does not have to match a patient's tissue type as closely as donated marrow does. This means more patients are able to receive transplants.
Who needs a cord blood transplant?
- Patients in need of a transplant quickly. Cord blood units are stored and ready to use immediately.
- Patients who have a hard time finding a matched bone marrow donor.
- Patients from racially or ethnically diverse communities, who often have uncommon tissue types. Because cord blood does not have to match the patient as closely as bone marrow, it may offer more people from diverse racial and ethnic communities a second chance at life.
Is there any cost for donation?
There is no cost for donating cord blood to a public cord bank, such as LifeCord. LifeCord incurs the cost of collecting, testing, processing and storing the cord blood.
How is cord blood donated?
Donating cord blood to a public cord blood bank involves talking with your doctor or midwife about your decision to donate. If possible, register with LifeCord staff. Upon arriving at the hospital, remind the labor and delivery team that you are donating your umbilical cord blood. After the delivery of your baby, the blood remaining in the umbilical cord will be collected and tested.
To-do list for umbilical cord donor moms
- Let your doctor or midwife know that you want to donate your cord.
- If possible, register with LifeCord staff.
- Make sure that all of your
registration forms have been filled
- Maternal Demographic Information Form
- Family Medical History Questionnaire
- Maternal Risk Questionnaire
- Fill out your consent form.
- On the day of your delivery, remind your delivery team that you want to donate your cord.
LifeCord, a program of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, performs community and donor education, cord blood collection and processing, distribution of the cord blood units, and evaluation of transplant outcomes.
Phone: 1.888.795.2707, ext. 41738