Cord blood donation to Canadian Blood Services' Cord Blood Bank is free and easy. Cord blood collection begins after the safe delivery of a healthy baby. The process is safe, painless and poses no risk to mom or baby.
There is a small amount of cord blood left in the placenta and umbilical cord following the delivery of a baby. If not used it is discarded as medical waste. If the amount of blood left has enough cells to qualify for a stem cell transplant, we will process, test and store the donated cord blood unit for a future patient in need.
Join Canada’s Lifeline
Take the cord blood registration questionnaire to confirm your eligibility.
We do not interfere with the normal process of labor or delivery. It is important to inform your healthcare providers, when you arrive at the hospital, that you are donating to the public cord blood bank.
Your baby’s cord blood will be collected by a Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank team member via the ex utero method (after your placenta/umbilical cord are delivered). It is collected from the umbilical cord using a sterile needle and bag.
We test a small amount of cord blood at the hospital to ensure it has enough cells for a patient requiring a stem cell transplant. If it does not qualify, with your consent, your cord blood can be donated for research instead of being discarded.
If your cord blood unit qualifies, a member of the cord blood collection team will visit you before you leave the hospital to collect additional information including:
A second consent
A blood test (only from mother) and
A health assessment questionnaire
Review of medical chart (baby and mother)
Your consent and blood test must be received before being discharged from the hospital or the cord blood collected will be discarded. If you do not meet with someone form the cord blood collection team, that means the cord blood unit did not meet the minimum cell count needed.
If you decide to delay the cord clamping, speak with your physician or midwife prior to delivery and let them know that you would also like to donate your cord blood. Timing of umbilical cord clamping is a joint decision between the family and the health care provider.
A minimum of 60 seconds delay before clamping of the umbilical cord is standard care for full term healthy babies. Longer delays will reduce the amount of cord blood available for donation, however we will continue to collect the cord blood with your consent. Donating does not affect your birth plan in any way.