Women's Health Texas – San Antonio

Cord Blood Donation

Cord blood donation is an option for parents

One of the prenatal decisions that parents need to discuss is whether to choose cord blood banking, cord blood donation or neither.

Researchers have found many medical uses for stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood comes from the umbilical cord and the placenta. Before the world knew about the medical benefits of cord blood stem cells, the umbilical cord and placenta were discarded as medical waste after birth. Now, we can collect the blood after clamping off the cord. From there, we can freeze and store the baby’s cord blood for future use.

If you choose private cord blood banking, we will collect your baby’s blood and send it to a private blood bank for your family’s use. Private cord banks charge an initial fee and a yearly storage fee.

If you choose cord blood donation, we will collect your baby’s blood and store it at a public cord bank. There, it will be available to anyone who has a medical need. There is no fee for to donate cord blood.

Why is there a need for cord blood donation?

There are thousands of people waiting for treatments that use cord blood donations, especially people who are ethnic minorities.

Researchers have discovered ways to use cord blood donations to obtain stem cells to treat hereditary diseases, immune system diseases and some cancers. In fact, stem cells can treat over 70 different diseases that affect both adults and children. Ongoing research is identifying new applications for cord blood stem cells.

Making the decision about donation

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend cord blood donation, but the decision is a very personal one that only the baby’s parent can make.

We recommend that parents gather information and discuss donation with their OBGYN and pediatrician. If you want to use your baby’s cord blood in any way, you need to make this decision about two months before you give birth.

Your OBGYN is also a great resource for information about how to donate cord blood, so contact us.