The process for collecting your child’s umbilical cord blood is simple and straightforward. That’s good news, especially considering you’ll have your mind on other things—like, for instance, bringing new life forth from your body. But the Food and Drug Administration requires that your cord blood bank tests your blood, too. What is the maternal blood draw? What’s the best time to do it? Learn what you need to know.
Why Test the Mother’s Blood?
The FDA asks that at the time of cord blood collection, doctors also obtain a sample of the mother’s blood. To rule out any unknown infections and make sure it’s safe to use for the child or the child’s siblings, it gets tested for the presence of:
- Hepatitis B Virus
- Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus Types 1 and 2
- Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Types I/II
The test results are shared with the client, and in some states may be recorded by law.
Does It Affect Cord Blood Banking?
The results could affect who aside from the child could use the sample. If the mother does have an infectious disease, she can discuss with her doctor how to proceed. They may decide to conduct additional testing or provide treatment for the mother or the baby.
When Is the Blood Drawn?
The cord blood bank will give you a blood collection kit well before your delivery day. Everything you need for the maternal blood draw comes included. You can do it just after checking into the hospital, after giving your doctor the complete kit. Doctors must collect the mother’s blood before administering any intravenous fluids for the birth. The blood samples are tested at the cord blood bank’s lab and then sent out for further testing at another lab.
Then What Happens?
As the baby takes those first few breaths of air, your doctor will clamp the umbilical cord and collect blood for banking. You probably won’t even realize it’s happening, and neither you nor the baby will feel a thing – under no circumstances is the health of the baby in jeopardy. Those samples, along with your blood, will go to the cord blood bank for processing while you bond with your baby.
While you can learn many cord blood banking facts if you’re interested, once the process is in motion, you don’t have to think about it. If you choose to enroll with New England Cord Blood Bank, we will preserve and monitor the rare stem cells that could one day save your child’s life. It’s the ultimate gift for your child. If you want to learn more about what the maternal blood draw is and when to do it, contact us with all your questions.