Everyone knows that a newborn’s umbilical cord has to be cut after they are born. But before the cord can be cut, it must be clamped. Not long ago, standard procedure was clamping the umbilical cord as quickly as possible. Recent research, however, has shifted medical opinion towards waiting 30 to 60 seconds after the baby is born before the clamp is applied-- a practice known as delayed cord clamping. This practice ensures that the baby will receive as much of their umbilical cord blood as possible, but where does that leave families hoping to donate or bank their baby’s cord blood?
The OB/GYN community has come to agree that newborn infants, especially those born prematurely, benefit from delayed cord clamping. The immediate benefits for these babies are increased blood volume and iron levels, and the long term benefits are still being evaluated.
Delayed cord clamping and private cord blood banking are fully compatible, so a family can save their baby’s stem cells for future therapeutic use without having to choose one over the other.
However, there are two notable exceptions that parents should be aware of:
Public cord blood bank donations may reject a cord blood unit if delayed cord clamping was performed.
Delayed cord clamping for more than 60 seconds may provide no additional benefit to the newborn and will lower the amount of cord blood that can be collected, which can impact stem cell dose. Studies show that stem cell dose is a significant factor related to transplant success and patient survival rate.
Whatever decisions you make regarding umbilical cord clamping and cord blood collection, you are already making an excellent parenting decision just by gathering relevant facts. If you opt for private cord blood banking, make sure you consider MiracleCord. Our lab is AABB accredited and has been processing cord blood for more than 20 years, so you can be confident in our rigorous quality and safety standards for cord blood collection, processing, testing, and storage. Be sure to enroll with MiracleCord well in advance of your due date to make sure your baby’s cord blood can be stored, in case your baby arrives earlier than expected.