Is donating cord blood safe?

Yes. There is no risk to mother or baby when cord blood is collected. After birth, the cord blood is either collected by the doctor or the placenta is delivered and given to a cord blood collection specialist.

Does it hurt?

No, the cord blood collection process is done after the umbilical cord is detached from baby.

What will I need to do during delivery that's different from other moms? Will this change my delivery plan?

Mother does not need to worry about anything except for signing the consent. The doctor and nurses are aware the mother is a donor and work directly with collector. The mother's delivery plan is not altered.

Where does my baby's cord blood go?

After collection, your baby’s cord blood is assessed to see whether it meets the criteria for public banking, in terms of cell numbers and safety. Clinical grade cord blood units are processed to reduce red blood cells and volume, then are stored frozen at very cold temperatures, at one of our partner cord blood banks. If your baby's cord blood unit does not have enough cells for banking, it is either given to a qualified researcher working with cord blood or is safely disposed of. The California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program is not a cord blood bank itself, but collects cord blood for public banks.

Does the cord blood have to be immediately frozen to preserve it?

The cells in the cord blood are viable for approximately 36 hours. The unit should be delivered to the cord blood bank during that timeframe for it to be processed and frozen.

Can I change my mind?

If you change your mind before the blood is collected, just let your doctor or the collection specialist know and it will not be collected. If you change your mind after the unit has been sent to the bank, mothers can work with each bank individually to retract her donation.

Can I get access to my cord blood once it is stored?

In the event that your cord blood unit was stored in the bank and was not utilized for transplant, there is a possibility it could be available, and would be identified as a match in search. However, quite often a cord blood unit from an unrelated donor is what is needed for transplantation. By donating cord blood you improve everyone’s chances of finding a match in the public registry and obtaining the healthy cells they need.