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Cord Blood Banking......Opinion!

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM
  • 14 Replies

Has anyone done this? If so, how much does it cost?

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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM
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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

 we looked into it and wanted to do it but it was WAY too much for us to afford...I think when we were looking it was like $3,500-$5,000 and monthly payments were around $200 (which is a car payment for us)

by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM
4 moms liked this
Nope. That blood belongs to the baby. If you want to bank the blood then you need to clamp right after birth and that means the baby doesn't get all that nutrient rich blood.
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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I had considered it with my 2nd, but didn't.  Since that point I've decided it's way more important to delay cord clamping and allowing baby to get all that blood.

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Yeah I hear ya! That would be a car payment for us too. 

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by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Ive never even heard of delaying the cord clamping until I got on here and heard so many people talking about it. How long do you wait for? Is it something you have to ask them to do?

Quoting JadeTigr7:

I had considered it with my 2nd, but didn't.  Since that point I've decided it's way more important to delay cord clamping and allowing baby to get all that blood.

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by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I have some info saved, I will paste it:

Quoting Jamie0121:

Ive never even heard of delaying the cord clamping until I got on here and heard so many people talking about it. How long do you wait for? Is it something you have to ask them to do?

1) Leaving the cord to pulse does "no harm" and therefore should be encouraged. If you can think about what Nature intended, our ancestors way back before scissors and clamps were invented must have had to wait to deal with the cord/placenta until the placenta was birthed. They probably chewed it, ground it with rocks, or burned it through with hot sticks from the fire. The little teeth on the clamps indicate that traumatizing of the vessels is necessary to quell bleeding. Some midwives say that if you delay cutting the cord until an hour or so after the birth, there will be no bleeding at all from the stump.

2) Scientists are now discovering that umbilical cord blood is full of valuable T-cells which have cancer fighting properties. A whole industry has sprung up to have this precious blood extracted from the placenta, put in a cooler with dry ice, and taken to a special storage facility to be ready in case the child gets cancer at some time in the future. This is human insanity of the first order. That blood is designed by Nature to go into that child's body at birth, not 30 yrs later! We need to acknowledge that there are things about the newborn circulation and blood composition that we just don't know and we need to bet that Mother Nature had things figured out pretty well for us to survive this long. Maybe the supposed need for Vitamin K in the newborn comes out of early cord clamping?

3) Leaving the cord slows down the "fire drill" energy that many birth attendants get into after the baby is born. Leaving off the busyness of midwifery for a half hour allows the mother and baby undisturbed bonding time without a "project " going on i.e. the cord cutting instructions, explanations, jokes, etc. The father, too , is undisturbed and able to enjoy this "high" time without focusing on a job at hand.

4) Educator Joseph Chilton Pearce in his book "Magical Child" makes reference to studies that were done on primates who gave birth in captivity and had early cord clamping. Autopsies of the primates showed that early cord clamping produced unusual lesions in the brains of the animals. These same lesions were also found in the brains of human infants when autopsied.

5) For women with an Rh Negative blood type, there is a growing belief that the clamping of a pulsing cord that causes the blood of the baby to transfuse into the blood stream of the mother causing sensitization problems. Robert S Mendelsohn, M.D., in his book "How to Have a Healthy Child. . . In Spite of Your Doctor" blames the whole Rh neg problem on too quick clamping of the cord. Especially in Rh neg mothers I urge midwives to wait until the placenta is out before thinking about cord clamping.

Restricted Umbilical Cord Problems

The most common source of restricted umbilical cord problems in childbirth is completely preventable and due to a procedure documented as harmful to the baby - early cord clamping.  (see references at conclusion of article for further information)

What is Early Cord Clamping?

Early cord clamping (ECC) is defined as any method by which the cord is manipulated to stop the flow of blood to the baby while it is still pulsating.  This includes clamping, cutting, hand squeezing, tying or holding the baby too high or too low.

In a natural vaginal birth with no medications, the cord pulsates on average for 7 minutes.  In a medicated birth, including c-sections or babies with a compressed cord, the cord will pulsate for as long as 20 minutes.  Good practice is to leave the cord alone for 12 minutes or until it turns white/silver in color.

Serious Risks Associated with Early Cord Clamping

Whenever a pulsating umbilical cord is clamped,  20-60% of the baby's total blood volume is trapped inside the placenta.  A 9 pound baby manufactures only 10 ounces of blood during gestation.  It will take over 6 months for the baby to replenish the volume of blood lost by early cord clamping.

In essence, newborns become involuntary blood donors.  HALF their blood volume is lost when their cords are early clamped. 

This decrease in necessary blood volume causes the babies to become anemic.   In most cases, the anemia is not diagnosed and the infant is sent home in a weakened state, more susceptible to a host of complications, including SIDS.

Restricted umbilical cord problems associated with anemia are Autism, heart perforations, thyroid disorders, brain tumors, leukemia, hormonal imbalances and liver/kidney disease.

Male infants will suffer more than females.  They have higher metabolisms that require 10% more blood.  This trend is also seen in that males represent a greater proportion of children receiving special education services in schools and higher incidences of disabilities such as ADD, behavioral issues, and Autism.

Currently, 1 in 16 babies are revived after birth.  For how many is this due to low blood volume, an inflicted condition?  In effect, medical personnel must undo the wrong they're created.  Another critical correlation is the fact that the United States has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate and practices early cord clamping as a routine procedure. 

Any baby whose cord has been early clamped is weakened.  Weaker babies become more susceptible to infection, especially at the site of the cut cord.  There are 25 known infectious strains resistant to all antibiotics and they are primarily found in hospitals.  This mix is just asking for trouble. 

Another of the restricted umbilical cord problems is  engorged placenta, a direct threat to the mother and future pregnancies.  When the blood flow is restricted by clamping, the blood can pool in the placenta, causing it to rupture or backflow the baby's blood into the mother's.  This cause lead to serious side effects, such as maternal hemorrhage and can even prohibit future pregnancies due to the blood mixing.

Why are Cords Early Clamped?

Restricted umbilical cord problems caused by early cord clamping occur for many reasons, none of them acceptable or in the best interest of the child.  The first is ignorance.  Many doctors are unaware of the risks of early cord clamping.  This is in part due to poor training.  Some commonly used medical texts still detail the use of early cord clamping.  However, this represents a serious concern in that ACOG guidelines now refute the use of early cord clamping.  Early cord clamping was first documented as harmful in 1801 and again in 1957.  It wasn't until after 1923 that it began to be mainstreamed.

The second is convenience and time management.  Doctors want to be in and out of the birthing room.  Waiting an extra 20 minutes for the cord pulsation to stop naturally and the placenta to detach on its own may not fit into their agenda.  They put your child at risk of developing restricted umbilical cord problems for their own convenience.  Someone should remind them of that oath they took to do no harm.

If those two reasons weren't enough, the third will blow your mind.  It represents an unforgivable injustice.  Many doctors early cord clamp so the placenta and its cord blood can then be sold to the highest bidder.  Yes, that's correct.  When you sign papers allowing the hospital to "dispose" of the placenta and other remnants of birthing, when you think they are being burned or safely disposed, they're actually selling them to medical research for as much as $30,000 each!  This figure was reported by the Children's Hospital in Randwick, Australia.  This was confirmed in the 10th edition of the Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 2003 page 1076.   They're placing the baby at risk of these restricted umbilical cord problems to make money.


For each mother who allowed the hospital to dispose of her placenta (the vast majority), medical testing could currently be performed on your baby's stem cells, including cloning.  This misuse of the placental blood represents a violation of informed consent.  You did not consent to medical experimentation, only to disposal. 

False Reasons for Clamping

Short cord, maternal hemorrhage, c-section, respiratory distress are just a few of the worthless reasons to clamp a cord.  Even a baby in distress can be revived with the cord intact.  It also allows better access to the umbilical vein as it remains uninjured.  All of the restricted umbilical cord problems are usually the result of drugs given during labor, including oxytocin, pitocin, iv fluids, and pain medications, not a result of leaving the cord intact.

The cold truth is that hospital operate under the assumption that something will go wrong.  This subconscious message is transmitted to every mother birthing in a hospital - from the sterile, cold environment to the brisk pace of the nurses.  What they don't want you to know is that the interventions cause the complications.  93-95% of all births proceed normally with no complications whatsoever.  If this information became widespread, they'd be out of business, fast.

When Should a Cord be Early Clamped?

The only situations in which a cord should be early clamped is when the cord has torn or with a placenta previa.  Babies born via c-section can be delivered with their cord and placenta intact.   Multiples can also be delivered without risk of restricted umbilical cord problems.

Prevention of Restricted Umbilical Cord Problems

  • Birth in a warm room or warm water - cold temperatures cause blood flow to slow
  • Wrap the baby immediately head to toe in warm blankets or allow skin-to-skin contact with the mother with blankets covering both.
  • Do not manipulate the baby to breathe.  While the cord is pulsating, the baby is receiving oxygenated blood, thus not triggering the need to take an additional breath.  As the blood travels into the baby's expanding lungs, once they become filled, the baby will feel its own signal to breathe and will do so with fully expanded lungs.
  • If the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck, have the birth attendant insert a finger between the neck and the cord, allowing the birth to proceed normally.
  • If you choose a hospital birth, request your placenta.  Take it home and plant it under a new tree that will grow as your baby does.


To stop the atrocity of restricted umbilical cord problems due to early cord clamping,  sign this petition to protect the health and welfare of babies and mothers.

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Umbilical cord blood is a baby’s life blood until birth. It contains many wonderfully precious cells, like stem cells, red blood cells, and more recently scientists have discovered that umbilical cord blood contains cancer-fighting T-cells.


Yet common practice is to cut this source of valuable cells off from the baby at the moment of birth, due to unsubstantiated claims that it can cause complications. Not only that, a new line of business has been set up to store this precious cord blood for you, which all sounds great in theory, but why deprive a baby of those super cells at birth and then give them back on the very small chance that a problem has appeared later in life? Could there be a link to not having those super cells at birth and those illnesses? Storing cord blood is not only extremely expensive but it is also worth finding out exactly what they have been successful on helping and how common those conditions really are.

How likely is it that my baby will need stored stem cells?

According to Dr Sarah Buckley, in her well researched book ‘Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering’ (2005):

  • The likelihood of low-risk children needing their own stored cells has been estimated at 1 in 20,000
  • Cord blood donations are likely to be ineffective for the treatment of adults, because the number of stem cells are too small
  • Cord blood may contain pre-leukemic changes and may increase the risk of relapse
  • Autologous cord blood is only suitable for children who develop solid tumours, lymphomas or auto-immune disorders
  • All other uses are speculative

And this from the Choice website:

“The most common reason for transplantation in childhood is for leukemia, but a donor’s own cord blood is unlikely to be used. The most appropriate source of stem cells is another person, either a family member or an anonymous stem cell donor.”

Collection is also very lucrative for the collector (midwives get offered training in this too, some decline but some do it). Collectors get paid hundreds for doing the procedure.

Timing of cord clamping

There have been an increasing number of studies published with regards to the timing of cord clamping, including a recent 16-month study which was published in 2006 which you can read more about here. It was conducted at Hospital de Gineco Obstetrica in Mexico City, where over 350 mother/baby pairs were part of the study.

This study, as well as several others, have provided solid evidence of the benefits of delayed clamping. The main benefits being:

  • Increased levels of iron
  • Lower risk of anaemia
  • Less transfusions and
  • Less incidence of intraventricular haemorrhage

A two-minute delay in cord clamping increased the child’s iron reserve by 27-47 mg of iron, which is equivalent to 1-2 months of an infants iron requirements. This could help to prevent iron deficiency from developing before 6 months of age.

Another study has been released in 2007 from the University of Granada which has similar findings, you can read it here.

While delayed clamping is beneficial for babies across the board, the studies found that the impact of delayed clamping is particularly significant for infants who have low birth weights, are born to iron-deficient mothers, are premature, or those who do not receive baby formula or iron-fortified milk. Given that mother nature provided breastmilk for babies and not formulas, you would think she also supplied that valuable source of iron for a reason too. You may have noticed that formula companies promote iron deficiency rates to sell their products.

The studies have suggested that delayed clamping, for as little as two minutes, should be implemented as standard practice, however this is yet to happen at many hospitals. Some couples choose to leave the cord unclamped until it has stopped pulsating, which could take a few minutes or it could take around twenty – either way, the baby is able to have his or her supply of placental blood.

Delayed Cord Clamping & Donating/Storing Cord Blood

Delayed cord clamping is not compatible with cord blood donation. The reason being is that in order for them to collect that blood, they need to cut the cord so that blood can be used for storage or donation. So if you would like your baby to have it’s full supply of cord blood, you may need to reconsider you plans to donate or store cord blood.

Delayed Cord Clamping & Jaundice

You may be told that delayed clamping causes jaundice in babies by your carer or hospital. This is not true.

Babies are no more likely to become jaundiced by delaying cord clamping and there is no relation to jaundice and the time of the cord being clamped. In the studies, the bilirubin levels were within normal range no matter when the cord was clamped. (Excess bilirubin levels are what is associated with jaundice).

Here are some statements from recent studies to back this claim:

“There were no significant differences for other secondary outcome measures: plasma bilirubin levels at 24 to 48 hours, neonatal morbidity (respiratory distress, tachypnea, grunting, jaundice, seizures, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis), mortality (none), neonatal intensive care unit admission, length of hospital stay, disease up to 1 month of age, weight or rate of breast-feeding at 1 month, maternal postpartum blood-loss volume, and maternal hematocrit level at 24 hours postpartum.”


“Plasma bilirubin values as well as hyperbilirubinemia rates were similar in the 3 groups, which goes along with other authors’ observations.”


from the recent study at the University of Granada

”...the clamping of the umbilical cord of newborns from full-term pregnancies, two minutes after the infant is expelled from the womb, makes no difference to hematocrit or hemoglobin levels of the umbilical cord vein compared to clamping the cord within 20 seconds. Thus, the study shows that early clamping (which is widely performed) is not justified.”

Further to this, Dr. Sarah Buckley’s well-researched article, A Natural Approach to the Third Stage of Labour’ states:

“Some studies have shown an increased risk of polycythemia (more red blood cells in the blood) and jaundice when the cord is clamped later. Polycythemia may be beneficial, in that more red cells means more oxygen being delivered to the tissues. The risk that polycythemia will cause the blood to become too thick (hyperviscosity syndrome), which is often used as an argument against delayed cord clamping, seems to be negligible in healthy babies. (Morley 1998)

Jaundice is almost certain when a baby gets his or her full quota of blood, and is caused by the breakdown of the normal excess of blood to produce bilirubin, the pigment that causes the yellow appearance of a jaundiced baby. There is, however, no evidence of adverse effects from this. (Morley 1998). One author has proposed that jaundice, which is present in almost all human infants to some extent, and which is often prolonged by breastfeeding, may actually be beneficial because of the anti-oxidant properties of bilirubin. (Gartner 1998)”

Delayed Cord Clamping & Blood Volume

You may also hear of concerns over the increase in blood volume and red blood cell volumes, overloading the heart and causing respiratory difficulties, as a result of delayed clamping. Again, this is not substantiated.

According to an article from the World Health Organisation, they state: “These effects have not, however, been demonstrated. In fact, there is probably a self-regulatory mechanism in the infant which limits the extent of placental transfusion. Moreover, there is evidence that the circulatory system of the newborn is capable of rapid adjustment to an increase in blood volume and viscosity by increased fluid extravasation and dilation of blood vessels.”

Delayed Cord Clamping & Maternal Haemorrhage

Again, another unsubstantiated claim. As per the earlier studies, there was no significant maternal postpartum blood-loss volume which is echoed in the World Health Organisation article:

“Although there was some evidence that early clamping reduces the duration of the third stage of labour, there was no significant effect on the incidence of postpartum haemorrhage”.

Something important to note

Just after you have given birth, the last thing you are paying attention to is the umbilical cord! So if after reading this article you have decided not to have the cord clamped immediately, make sure you make it well known with your caregiver and at the hospital that you want to delay clamping of the cord, so your baby can have it’s full store of blood.

There are some circumstances where the cord will need to be clamped immediately, including if you choose to have the third stage injection of syntocinon to expel the placenta faster – obviously the cord will need to be cut right away in this managed form of third stage. You can chose a normal physiological third stage if you haven’t had syntocinon during your labour (for inductions, augmentations or third stage).


All this leaves one question. Why isn’t delayed cord clamping standard practice if it means healthier babies and has no adverse effects? The answer is very clear – most obstetricians are reluctant to take up this practice.

According to THIS survey on the ‘Attitude of obstetricians towards delayed cord clamping’ as published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (sent out to obstetricians all over the world), the results came back glaringly stating that the reason the obstetricians who haven’t changed over to delayed cord clamping is ‘difficulty implementing it into practice’, which I find to be a big cop out really. Why are many obstetricians REALLY so reluctant to implement a simple process which benefits mother and baby? Why can’t the midwife clamp the cord later if the obstetrician is too busy? It’s yet another sensible and very healthy process that was practiced decades ago, before obstetrics even began and took over with a surgical approach.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists MUST and SHOULD produce guidelines for delayed cord clamping in obstetric practice for healthier mothers and babies.


Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to speak up if you feel your baby could benefit from delayed cord clamping. Print off this article as well as these studies and present them to your carer if you would like to discuss delayed cord clamping with them.

Useful Websites and References:

Dr. Stuart Fischbein: Delayed Cord Clamping (GREAT YouTube clip) Third Stage of Labour: A Natural Approach
Don’t Cut The Cord
Five Good Reasons To Delay Cord Clamping
Birth Injuries Related To Umbilical Cord Clamping
Early or Late Clamping?
Early Clamping of the Umbilical Cord
Risks of Premature Cutting of the Umbilical Cord

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

We looked into it. It is unlikely to be a help to us. But, if a person wants to by all means! Lol! We prefer the blood goes where it belongs- the baby, so we delay cord clamp with an unmanaged third stage. : ) 

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Its around $75 a month

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM
Great info above. I did not have to ask for it, because its my midwife's standard practice. She waits until the cord stops pulsing before we cut and clamp. I deliver at home. In a hospital I imagine you would have to ask.
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