If you’ve been reading for a while, you know one of my BIG things is to support you in making informed decisions.
We all want to do what is best for our babies, our children – the adults our children will be in the future.
The allure of storing our babies blood
The allure of cord blood banking as insurance against an eventual deadly disease therefore, is very understandable. The advertisements (sometimes cleverly disguised as scholarly articles) play on our fears – on our desire to protect our children.
Harvesting and storing your baby’s blood (it is actually your baby’s blood…not the cord’s) is now a $4 billion global industry. Source.
Yes, some families with a history of disease may be able to benefit from blood banking. And these families, at least in the US, do not have to pay for the service.
But for most of us this allure is an illusion
Newspapers report stories of lost, diseased and otherwise unusable samples.
Of dirty outsourced storage centers.
Stories of disappointed parents who were not told the truth.
The good news!
You can easily (and for free!) ensure your baby’s health by allowing your baby access to it’s full blood volume. By choosing to avoid premature clamping (involved when removing your baby’s blood to bank it) the benefits to your baby are:
-a higher birth weight,
-increased blood volume, (At the bottom of this blog is a powerful video showing the blood volume you’re talking about. Imagine allowing a soda bottle of your baby’s blood to be taken away!)
-increased red blood cells, stem cells and immune cells,
-a decreased risk for anemia up to six months after birth.
Source: Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 303–397, June 2014.
“The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.”
“There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection,” concluded co-author and obstetrician Dr. Stephen Klasko, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine. “The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.” So prevention is clearly better than cure – your baby will be better off keeping what is rightfully theirs. – Read more here.
Letting your baby have all of it’s blood
If blood is removed from the cord, the cord has not stopped pulsing. When the cord stops pulsating all your baby’s blood has entered your baby and there is none left in the cord. The cord is white.
“After the placenta has finished transferring blood to the baby it is difficult to collect even the few mls needed for blood group testing (Rh neg).” Source.
Include your desires in your birth preferences
Read my earlier post here about writing your birth preferences in regards to clamping here. It includes resources on cord clamping too.
And another mighty resource
for evidence-based research is the Optimal Cord Clamping Facebook page.
What do you think? Blood to your baby? Or blood in the bank?