Cord Blood Basics
Immediate or Delayed Cord Clamping
There remains a debate about when the cord blood should be collected, with some recommending immediate clamping of the umbilical cord to optimize the number of stem cells collected, while others recommend delayed clamping to optimize the volume of blood entering the newborn’s circulation.
This disagreement often causes confusion for expectant parents who obviously want to do what is best for their baby at birth, but also wish to safeguard their baby’s future health or even other family members who might one day require a treatment using stem cells.
The confusion is further compounded by there currently being no set definition of delayed cord blood clamping and clamping times vary significantly between studies.
Can I Delay the Cord Clamping and Bank Cord Blood?
Absolutely! Healthcare providers may be able to collect a sufficient volume of cord blood even when practicing delayed cord clamping, depending on the length of time that the cord clamping is delayed. It is best to discuss this option with your healthcare provider. At Insception Lifebank, we review the results of your sample before it is stored, and offer a refund policy if there is not enough to store so that you can feel confident in your decision.
Advice from our Medical Director, Dr. Robert Casper
- Delayed clamping of the cord will increase blood going to the baby but will decrease the volume of blood left in the cord for collection.
- Delayed clamping is likely not that beneficial for healthy full term babies.
- The real benefit of delayed cord clamping would be in premature or small for dates babies or if the mother is anemic.
- We would not suggest delayed clamping if you want to maximize the amount of cord blood collected but for most healthy babies it is probably not a problem whatever you decide.
- If the baby is small or premature, the delayed clamping should be done to maximize the baby’s blood volume and iron stores, and cord blood collection should be a secondary concern.
- Your attending Physician will not collect the cord blood if it puts your health or the health of your baby at risk.