What is cord blood and cord blood banking?
During pregnancy, blood circulates between the mother and the baby through the placenta and the umbilical cord. The blood in the umbilical cord contains stem cells. Stem cells are usually found in the bone marrow and are responsible for the production of blood cells.
You have the option of storing your baby's cord blood in case it is needed in the future. The cord blood can be used for the baby or for other family members. Many children with leukemia or other diseases have been saved through cord blood collection.
Get more information on umbilical cord blood from The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
What can cord blood be used for?
Umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used to successfully treat diseases requiring bone marrow transplants such as leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and aplastic anemia.
Cord blood can be used for your child but may also match their siblings or other family members. Even if you don't choose to bank privately, consider donating the cord blood and saving a life!
How is it collected?
Immediately after the birth of your baby, cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta. It is collected by your health care provider. There is no risk or pain to your baby. The blood is then sent to a laboratory and the stem cells are separated; they are then frozen for future use. There are fees for these services and banking.
What if I don't want to donate the blood or privately bank it?
If you don't want to save the blood, we do not collect the blood. The placenta and the blood are disposed of as medical waste.
Cord blood donation
There is no fee, but cord blood is given to whoever needs it and not saved for your child specifically.
Private cord blood banking
You pay a fee to save cord blood specifically for your child and their siblings.
Progenics: Cord Blood Cryobank
Cells for life: Cord Blood Bank
Create: Cord Blood Bank
Insception Lifebank: Cord Blood Program