cord blood banking (cross posted in I'm pregnant) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am currently 11+ weeks pregnant with my 3rd child.

 

My 2nd child has ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Today while at his regular oncology appointment, I mentioned to the doctor that I was pregnant and she immediately suggested that we should seriously consider cord blood banking. Her reasoning was that should DS relapse, should he need bone marrow treatment, a sibling's cord blood could save his life.

 

No pressure there wink1.gif.

 

The thing is, I am planning a home birth, my 3rd. We have practiced delayed cord clamping with both of my births. I strongly believe that the cord blood belongs to the baby, and I want my baby to receive all of the benefits of being allowed to fully absorb all of he blood that is available to him/her. I believe early cord clamping can lead to health concerns for a new born, jaundice and anemia immediately spring to mind. I also worry about an early cord clamp for my health too. I have already had one PPH, an early cord clamp is a risk factor for PPH and boy I do not want to go through that again!

 

Another thing is, there is no doubt in my mind that planning a hospital birth is a one way ticket to a c-section. No guessing or assuming, both of my previous births would have been a c-section had I been in a traditional, mainstream birthing environment.

 

Since we have a child with a cord blood treatable disease, cord blood banking is available to us for free for 5 years. So cost is not a factor in any way.

 

I feel the issue comes down to balancing the real risks to the new baby, the real risks to me, and the possible future benefits to DS. How in the heck is a mother suppose to make this decision?

 

Any thoughts, insights, experiences, or opinions would be appreciated.


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#2 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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I know this isn't the biggest issue, but is it possible to collect cord blood at home? Perhaps talking to your midwife about her ability to do this would give you another piece of information to look at while making your decision.

Does cord blood banking mean you have to have a hospital birth? I don't know.


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#3 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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We are also considering this!  My DS has Cystic Fibrosis and there is some evidence that a healthy sibling's cord blood could help him in the future.  We are also planning a home birth.  I believe that your midwife could collect this if you choose.  Can I ask you about the financial assistance you can receive for this?  Cost would be a problem for us otherwise.  I feel your pain in deciding between the two choices.  It feels like you are hurting one baby to help another but I guess you just need to go with what feels right.  Keep in mind that many babies have immediate cord clamping and do just fine.  I feel that delayed is best, but you have to weigh all your options!  Good luck!


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DD 04/20/12

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#4 of 6 Old 10-05-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The hospital gave me a pamphlet from The Sibling Connection, ViaCord's Cord Blood Donner Program.

 

It says "Any expectant family with a child who has an established diagnosis for a disease that is currently treatable with sibling cord blood may receive ViaCord's premier cord blood banking and 5 years of storage at no cost."

 

http://www.viacord.com/special-transplant-programs.htm

 

 


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#5 of 6 Old 10-06-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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I would check with your midwife and Viacord to see if home collection is a possibility. At a birth center where I previously worked we collected for multiple clients. For those that wanted it, there were a few options. Wait a few minutes to allow most of the blood to equalize (If I remember correctly approximately 70-75% of the blood transfer that would happen, happens in the first 2-3 minutes ... this is from memory and could be off a bit). Some have chosen to delay clamping until pulsing stops. The only problem with waiting longer is you are less likely to get the full volume needed. Many of the banking sites will not store a specimen that is not of adequate volume. I am not sure if this would apply with the known sibling or not.  Also to address the risk of PPH, if the cord is clamped and cut, cord blood collected, then the clamp removed so there is not a backup of sorts of blood to the placenta, this would create a similar setup. An important part would be that the cord blood could be collected with minimal interference to you and baby bonding. I think there are some options for you that may seem a bit of a happy medium.  

 

 

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#6 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have been thinking and talking. We've decided to go ahead and sign up and get the kit to collect.

 

Then when the baby comes, baby gets all of his/her cord blood first, then what ever is left over will get banked. If it's not enough, it's not enough. Of course, should there be a problem and we end up in a hospital, we'll have the kit and will probably be in a position to collect more, especially in a c-section situation.

 

It seems win-win this way.


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