You are thinking about cord blood banking. The question is, then, how in the world does this happen? Many people find the topic of banking the blood from the umbilical cord to be quite interesting and even amazing. The fact is that anyone that is looking into cord blood banking is likely to have many questions and concerns about the entire process. To help you to understand how the process works, here is some of the details that you should keep in mind.
The first thing to realize is that banking cord blood is not harmful in any way to the mother or to the baby. There are two ways that it can be done, either of which can be decided upon by your doctor. The two methods are in utero or ex utero. The difference here is in where the placenta and the cord are when the collection process happens. The first, in utero, happens when the cord and the placenta are still inside the other. After the baby is born, there is about five to ten minutes of time before the placenta is discharged from the mother. During that time, the cord blood may be collected. The doctor or the midwife will extract the cord blood during this time. The second method happens after the placenta has been discharged. The placenta is placed into a sterile container and the umbilical cord is hanging with support. The cord blood collection happens at this point.
In order for a cord blood transplant to work, there needs to be at least 75 mL of blood collected. This amount of blood will insure that there are enough cells available for the transplantation process to happen. The next step comes in storage of the cord blood. Since it is a biological material, it will be tested to insure that there are no diseases or problems with the blood. They are tested for such conditions as HIV and Hepatitis as well as several others. Once this is done, the process can take place. This is done with cryoperservation. A cryoperservant is added to the blood which will allow the blood to slowly begin to freeze. The slow process is needed to keep the cells alive throughout the process. Once it is cooled to -90 degrees Celsius, it can then be added to liquid nitrogen tanks that will keep it frozen at -196 degrees.