Cord blood collection is possible at your home birth. Mother to Mother Midwives will help interested families collect cord blood at their Homebirth.
The stem cells in your baby’s umbilical cord blood are a valuable resource. They are undifferentiated cells that can be used to treat many diseases such as stroke, heart disease, Parkinsons Disease and Diabetes. This could be a life giving donation from your baby to another individual and an early act of good karma..
Unfortunately, due to our current scientific limitations, it is very unlikely the stem cells collected from your child will later benefit him or her. The likelihood your child will benefit from his/her own stored stem cells is approximately 1/100,000.
It’s much more likely that these stem cells could benefit an ill family member or an anonymous individual in need.
There are two options for collection and storage of stem cells, private companies or local, community blood banks.
To collect stem cells for a family member, consider a private stem cell collection company such as Stemcyte. Such companies charge for collection and storage of your baby’s cord blood.
A practical option for those who want to donate to the public is the Community Blood Bank. They will collect and store cord blood at no charge. Best of all, they match the donated stem cells to needy, sick individuals. If your motivation is to help someone in need, blood banks are the best option.
Altruism aside, the individual most likely to benefit from his or her own cord blood is your baby. Allowing a baby to keep all of his or her own cord blood means he will receive all the benefits from the precious stem cells, red blood cells and platelets.
Delaying cord clamping for at least 30-180 seconds after birth results in higher concentrations of hemoglobin and hematocrit and blood volume during the neonatal period and less iron-deficiency anemia at 4-6 months of life. There is also a correlation to improved neurological function for those who kept all their own cord blood.
For families who do choose to collect stem cells, our midwives prefer to delay cord clamping and cord blood collection for 30-180 seconds after birth before collection. This is a compromise between collecting all or none of the cord blood.
Mother to Mother Midwifery preferred method of cord blood collection is delayed clamping and collection. For families who choose it, this is a good compromise.