At those first prenatal appointments, it felt like we were bombarded with pamphlets and information. As the pregnancy progressed, the resources tampered off – until one day we received a pamphlet and form about cord blood donation at my doctor’s office.
Surrounding ourselves with parents to be, we heard a lot about birth plans. Ours consisted of three words ‘have the baby’ – and later, donate the cord blood.
It was an easy decision for us, fortunate to have a healthy child at birth, to donate the cord blood and potentially help save the life of another child, another parent, another family.
Why We Donated Cord Blood
Leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, inherited immune system disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, sickle cell disease and other rarer conditions; the stem cells in cord blood can help to treat these, and many more, conditions.
We donated our cord blood because more than 75% of Canadians receive stem cells from donors outside their family. We donated because we hope that another pair of expectant parents would make the same decision, and help to increase the lives saved.
How Can You Donate Cord Blood?
The process begins during pregnancy. First, you download the cord blood donation kit. Second you give your completed consent form to either your healthcare provider during one of your prenatal visits, or bring it with you on your delivery day and tell your nurse you wish to donate.
Cord blood is collected one of two ways: in utero, after the delivery of the baby but before the delivery of the placenta or ex utero, after the delivery of the baby and the placenta.
Did you know: The Alberta Health Services’ Lois Hole Hospital for Women in Edmonton is one of the 5 hospitals in Canada where patients can donate cord blood. (Other locations include hospitals in Vancouver, Brampton, and Ottawa).
This post has been sponsored by Canadian Blood Services, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit https://blood.ca