Jun 10 2015

Delayed Cord Clamping and Cord Blood Banking: A Parent’s Guide

Posted by Martin Smithmyer

Parents Have the Opportunity to Bank Cord Blood After Delayed Cord Clamping

With an endorsement by the World Health Organization and recent articles by CNN, NPR, and Huffington Post, delayed cord clamping is at the forefront of labor and delivery decisions like never before. With all the information out there most expecting parents want to know what exactly is delayed cord clamping?

According to the World Health Organization delayed cord clamping is when the umbilical cord is cut 1-3 minutes after birth. Standard practice is to clamp and cut the cord within the first 15-20 seconds of birth.

Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Neurodevelopment benefits such as higher social and fine motor skills
  • Increased Iron levels
  • Additional blood helps sick and preterm babies improve faster

Expecting parents are looking to new research for possible benefits of this practice, including increasing a newborn baby’s iron levels, social and motor skills, and neurodevelopment.

It’s no wonder than that parents are taking this small step right after their delivery to ensure they are giving their child the best possible chances for a healthy start. However, a lot of parents are beginning to wonder how this new practice will affect plans to collect their baby’s cord blood.

The good news is that it’s possible to perform delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking during delivery. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which states that delaying cord clamping for 1.5-3 minutes is ideal. When the cord blood collection is begun no later than 3 minutes, the chances of a viable collection size are high. Americord®, a leader in cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue agrees with the ACOG, and also points to Cord Blood 2.0™, one of the largest advancements in cord blood banking in recent years.

With Cord Blood 2.0™, it is now possible to collect up to twice as many stem cells as the industry standard. This means that following the recommendations by the ACOG, parents can do a cord blood collection after delayed cord clamping that results in a viable collection size and volume while still providing their child with the health benefits of delayed cord clamping. Current industry benchmarks for cord blood collections are a minimum of 100 million cells. Given the amount of blood likely to flow out of the placenta at the time of birth, there is typically plenty to be stored for later use. Delayed clamping can provide important value to the baby immediately, and stem cells from cord blood can provide long-term protection. To date, more than 80 diseases have been treated using cord blood stem cells, and they have also be used in transplant medicine in lieu of a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. Growing evidence supports the fact that parents can both delay clamping and store stem cells from cord blood, without choosing one over the other.

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