Cord Blood Collection: A Guide for Midwives and Parents

When parents-to-be choose a midwife or home birth but also want to store their child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells for the future, they might wonder if it’s possible to collect umbilical cord blood when their baby is born outside of a hospital. The answer is yes, it is possible, and your midwife can follow the instructions provided by the cord blood bank you choose.

During the second or third trimester, at least four weeks before the due date, parents should request a cord blood collection kit from a trusted processing and storage company. The kit will arrive with all of the necessary equipment and step-by-step directions for clamping the umbilical cord, collecting the cord blood, and packing it for delivery to the lab.

Pregnant woman talking to midwifeSome important information for families who choose NECBB to store umbilical cord blood:

  • Make sure you have filled out your enrollment forms and sent them back prior to your baby’s birth..
  • After collection, cord blood and tissue samples should NOT be refrigerated. They must stay at room temperature.
  • A blood sample from the mother also is required. That can be collected up to 24 hours before the baby is born or within 48 hours after.
  • You have 72 hours after collection to send your completed kit back to the cord blood bank. Depending on where you live, it can be shipped by FedEx with the mailing label we provide or picked up by a medical courier.
  • Once NECBB receives your cord blood, we will call to let you know it has arrived. Within 8-10 weeks, we’ll send you a lab report with details about your baby’s cord blood collection.

Many parents and health care providers might have some specific questions about cord blood collection. When after the baby’s birth should the cord be clamped? Does collecting cord blood harm the baby or mother? We can address those concerns and offer much more information to help you make your decision about whether to collect and store your baby’s cord blood.

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