Thank you Workman Publishing, for sponsoring this post. Pick up your copy of the new fifth edition What To Expect When You’re Expecting anywhere books are sold.
Through piles of books, countless scholarly articles, and multiple discussions with my husband, we made hard decisions before the birth of our first child. And the second one came along and we continued to research and try to find the path we felt was best for our family.
Now we’re anticipating baby number three and there are still choices and still discussions we have to have.
Surprisingly, this is actually my first time to pick up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. And it was refreshing to see how dad was brought into the process and how it’s been kept up-to-date with topics like Zika and so many other things we hear about in the news.
I was also pleased to find so much balanced information and the absence of a negative tone for home birth moms. As a mother whose had a range of experiences including breech presentation, emergency cesarean, home birth, and VBAC, it was validating to feel no fear or condemnation in any of the choices we have made thus far.
My new midwife discussed at our last appointment that she like to leave the entire placenta and umbilical cord in tact for around an hour and to not even make a noise in the room. She said it allows for family bonding without extra voices that won’t be around in the coming days.
And it got me thinking about cord blood and what a precious gift it is.
Planning for the 3rd stage of labor: delivery of the placenta and what to do with cord blood
Through the book there are several conversations about cord blood and all spark interesting family conversations about what it best and how to have the birth and delivery that’s right for you.
There are two ways to store cord blood.
Most people speak of the expensive nature of saving baby’s blood. However, you also have the option of sending it to a public bank. The downside being that if you need it in the future, you’re probably not going to get your baby’s blood.
You can request delayed cord clamping even with a cesarean.
A shift has been happening lately in the birthing world and c-cetions are becoming more family centered. In fact, it’s not uncommon to as for a “gentle” cesarean and in many cases these types of procedures can also include delayed the cord getting cut.
Stem cells in cord blood have become a standard treatment for various diseases.
One of the reasons cord blood banking is becoming more popular is because it’s a precious commodity in the health world. While some have mentioned the possibility of stem cells in baby teeth, cord blood is a guarantee . And while very few tap into it for their children or themselves, it’s the peace of mind that it can bring to have it stored for use if needed.
You can share your cord blood with family, and it could even waive the fee.
If you have a family member in need of the cells at that moment, sometimes the fee for storage and collection is waived. Other blood banks even have discounts such as for military families.
Home birth moms can bank their baby’s cord blood too!
If your provider agrees to do it once you sit down to chat why your family is interested, then it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to still collect the blood with a midwife in a home birth environment.
Delaying cord clamping can increase a baby’s blood supply by 30-40%
This is key in my opinion. We all function better with the right amount of blood and delaying cord clamping can reduce the chances of anemia; therefore, our family actually chooses to delay instead of collect and save.
You could help save a life with a donation to a public cord blood bank.
For some people, even if they do not have an ill family member that could benefit from the stem cells, they find the desire to donate whether to someone they know or just in general to try to help save a life.
If you want to bank you’re baby’s cord blood, you’ll need to do so before week 34.
Standard practice is to have all of the details ironed out before your 34th week. This means you sign bank paperwork, set up payment, and obtain a kit in order to be able to collect the blood cells.
The WHO, AAP, and the ACOG all recognize the benefits of waiting to clamp a baby’s umbilical cord.
If you do not want to donate, don’t have an ill family member, and have no reason to suspect grave illness in your family, then there’s typically no reason to not delay clamping. While each organization differs on the timing of cutting the cord (and maybe your provider like mine is radically different as well), the typical suggestion is to wait at least 1-3 minutes before stopping flow or removing the placenta.
Your husband can still cut the cord even if you decide to save & store the umbilical cord blood.
However, if you’re leaning more towards the option of collecting those precious baby blood cells, there is no need to worry about your spouse getting to cut the cord. It doesn’t interfere with the process and they can still enjoy this strange rite of passage into parenthood.
There are benefits to both cord blood banking and delaying clamping, but you can’t do both.
As you can tell, both are an option. Both are a GREAT option. They’re covered thoroughly among other important decisions in the What to Expect When you’re Expecting 5th Edition. But you can only choose one!
So Cord Blood Banking or Delayed Cord Clamping?
With family members that could use those precious stem cells and just that strange peace of mind that having something you otherwise could never get, it’s always been an interesting topic of conversation.
So while with my second child and now with this third we have chosen to delay umbilical cord clamping, we have also very seriously considered banking it.
Which option did you choose to write into your birth plan?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.