Frequently Asked Questions
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. It is rich in stem cells that generate new blood cells.
Cord blood can be used to treat patients with blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases like sickle cell disease and aplastic anemia.
Donated cord blood that meets testing criteria will be listed on the Be The Match Registry® and stored until requested by a patient in need.
What happens if I do not donate my baby’s cord blood?
It will be discarded.
Is there any cost for donating to LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank?
There is NO cost. LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank incurs the cost of collecting, testing, processing and storing the cord blood.
How is cord blood donated?
The collection process is painless, and it will not interfere with the birthing process.
Your physician or midwife collects the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta. After your baby is born, the umbilical cord will be clamped, cut and your baby will be safely in the pediatric team’s care. Then, the cord blood can be collected from the umbilical vein in the cord. There is no harm to you or your baby.
No blood sample is collected from your baby, and only a small sample will be obtained from you for testing.
What happens after collection?
The cord blood unit is evaluated and, if it qualifies, the unit is frozen, stored and entered into the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be the Match Registry database as part of the National Cord Blood Inventory. If there are too few cells, the cord blood may be used for other purposes including research to advance medicine or it may be discarded. For stored units, the donating mom will be asked to complete a short health history before she leaves the hospital.
Who can donate?
As a public cord blood bank, LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank accepts donations of umbilical cord blood after the delivery of a single birth, uncomplicated pregnancy for eligible mothers delivering at one of the 13 LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank collection hospitals. For deliveries at other hospitals, a list of other public cord blood banks within the NMDP family is available.
What is the Be The Match Registry®?
It is the largest and most diverse donor registry in the world that helps patients to get the transplant they need.
Visit Be The Match for more information.
How is cord blood used?
Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells that make it ideal for use in transplants for patients suffering hematological malignancies or certain metabolic and immunodeficiency disorders. Because there is a limited amount of blood in a single umbilical cord (three to five fluid ounces), cord blood transplants are typically used for children but combining more than one cord blood unit for transplants into adults is possible as well. Cord Blood is especially useful for:
Patients who need a transplant quickly, because cord blood units are stored and ready for use.
Patients who have a hard time finding a matched marrow donor. Cord blood does not have to match a patient’s tissue type as closely as donated marrow.¹
Patients from racially or ethnically diverse communities who have difficulty finding matches. Because cord blood does not have to match the patient as closely, it may offer more people from diverse backgrounds a second chance at life.²
Why should I donate my cord blood to a public bank?
By choosing to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public bank, like LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank, you are doing your part to help ensure more people in need of life saving cord blood transplants are able to find a match.
How can I donate my baby’s cord blood?
Let your doctor or midwife know your desire to donate your cord blood.
The day of delivery, remind your delivery team you are donating your cord blood to LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank.
Are cord blood transplant patients given information about their donor?
No, LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank adheres to strict confidentiality policies and practices to protect your personal information.
Can I donate cord blood if I choose delayed cord clamping?
For parents considering cord blood donation, this is a common question many have. The answer is yes. While the timing of umbilical cord clamping is a personal decision, it should be discussed with your OB or midwife.
The cord blood collection process begins immediately after the cord is clamped and cut – whenever that may be. Be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife to ensure as much cord blood is collected as possible after clamping.
1. ACOG Clinical. Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2017/01/delayed-umbilical-cord-clamping-after-birth
1 Eapen M, Rubinstein P, Zhang MJ, et al. Outcomes of transplantation of unrelated donor Cord Blood: Biology, Transplantation, Banking, and Regulation 630 umbilical cord blood and bone marrow in children with acute leukemia: A comparison study. Lancet 2007;369:1947-54.
2 Eapen M, Rubinstein P, Zhang MJ, et al. Outcomes of transplantation of unrelated donor Cord Blood: Biology, Transplantation, Banking, and Regulation 630 umbilical cord blood and bone marrow in children with acute leukemia: A comparison study. Lancet 2007;369:1947-54.