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Collecting cord blood Ask the Experts

Collecting cord blood

 We’re planning to bank our baby’s cord blood, but I’m worried it will be painful for him or interrupt our bonding time after delivery. Can you give me a sense of what the collection process looks like?

A: Umbilical cord blood collection is a simple process that is not felt by the baby and should not in any way interfere with your bonding time. After delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Prior to delivery of the placenta, your obstetric provider will collect the umbilical cord blood sample (if you have requested cord blood banking). The collection is accomplished by putting a needle into the umbilical cord attached to the placenta (not to the baby). Your baby can be in your arms, enjoying skin-to-skin contact, without interfering with this process. After the specimen is collected, it will be sent according to the instructions provided by the umbilical cord blood banking kit supplied by the vendor that you have selected.

—Alan Fishman, MD, maternal-fetal medicine specialist and medical director at MEDNAX-affiliate Obstetrix Medical Group San Jose in San Jose, California