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Cord Blood Collection: Confessions of a Vampire-Midwife
By Rachel Reed
“Cord blood contains magical stem cells, and the idea is that if your baby becomes ill in the future you may be able to use these cells as treatment. My concern with cord blood banking is the inadequate and misleading information given to parents.”
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“Even the term ‘cord blood’ is misleading – blood is merely collected via the cord. In addition the promotional materials talk about collecting ‘blood from the placenta’ without acknowledging that the baby/placenta are one blood circulation unit. After birth the blood from the placenta transfers to the baby, assisting transition to breathing. Knowledge about the short term and long term health benefits of allowing placental circulation to complete the job is becoming widespread.”
In the procedure guide for collection there is no mention of when to clamp the cord. This may lead parents to believe they can delay cord clamping and still collect cord blood. This is not an option. After the placenta has finished transferring blood to the baby it is difficult to collect even the few mls needed for blood group testing (Rh neg). The large umbilical vessels are empty and by the time the placenta has been birthed, the blood in the small vessels has begun to clot.
Parents need adequate information before they make a decision to withdraw a significant amount of their baby’s blood volume. They need to be able to weigh up the definite benefits of full blood volume at birth vs a possible treatment for an unlikely future illness. Cord blood is baby’s blood.
Read the entire article HERE.