Today there is potentially amazing technology and science on the horizon that could possibly help families. Whether that potential will be a reality when they are 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old remains to be seen. However, some families choose to bank their child's cord blood on the chance that it is possible it could help them down the road. Other families choose to donate cord blood to help others with the limited potential of today and the more expected potential of science tomorrow.
Some birth advocates speak in ignorance on this subject when it comes to delaying the clamping and cutting of the baby's cord and banking/donating their cord blood. Some advocates without any research evidence or realisitic proof claim you cannot have your cake and eat it too. This is very disheartening because many of these advocates exist in the natural birth world filled with midwives, doulas and childbirth educators. It only takes one erroneous internet article to become the "evidence" some midwives, doulas and childbirth educators cling to.
The TRUTH is... women can give their babies the full benefit of delaying cord blood clamping and cutting, and also the benefit of saving their cord blood to be banked or donated.
Simply, midwives, physicians and mothers need to be educated about how this can be done. After the baby is born, there is a thick, pulsing purple cord filled with healthy blood flow that increases the baby's blood volume and gives the baby up to an extra cup of blood after birth.
Baby girl born 2 minutes earlier...
Many minutes later, the baby's cord will turn mostly white, be thinner and is now completely finished giving the baby the necessary increase in blood volume. The cord is ready to be clamped, cut and delivered.
Baby is now 16 minutes old, breastfeeding, with a white cord ready to be cut, clamped
and after the next contraction the placenta is delivered.
The midwife and her assistant immediately take the placenta to the bathroom sink and using simple gravity, they are able to get plenty of cord blood for collection.
The assistant holds the bag down while the midwife takes cord blood from the vessels closest to the placenta and easily fills the necessary blood for collection to either bank or donate cord blood.
In February 2011, an australian midwife who worked in a hospital banking cord blood writes her experience in an article (http://midwifethinking.com/2011/02/10/cord-blood-collection-confessions-of-a-vampire-midwife/#comment-2321). She states that she was a "vampire midwife" because she HAD to clamp and cut immediately in order to get cord blood for banking or donating at her hospital.
The TRUTH is... this midwife is a vampire midwife because she was likely bound by policy within her hospital but also ignorant of how to properly allow mothers to delay cord clamping and cutting before collecting the cord blood. She was asked to retract her article or heavily revise it by commenters who have experienced (both personally and professionally) the complete opposite of what she describes in her flawed, non-research based and non-reality based article that is extremely inaccurate but she has thus far refused to do so.
The TRUTH is... midwives in the United States in the home and birth center setting and even in some hospitals delay cord clamping and cutting and also successfully collect cord blood every day at births.
This midwife's real sin is spreading mistruths to her peers and mothers across the globe when reality and every day practice of delaying clamping and banking/donating cord blood proves her dead wrong.