Donating your cord blood is an amazing thing to do. After all, it could save someone’s life.
But amazing doesn’t mean difficult. Donating is completely safe for you and your newborn. In fact, when our specially-trained staff come to collect your blood – once the birth and afterbirth are over and you’ve done all the hard work – you’ll barely even know they’re there.
How does donating work?
Once your baby’s been safely delivered, naturally or by caesarean, your third stage of labour will happen as normal: the midwife or doctor will clamp your umbilical cord, and you’ll deliver your placenta or doctors will remove it.
After your cord and placenta are safely out of your body, we come in.
A specially-trained member of Anthony Nolan’s staff will be waiting outside to collect your cord and placenta. They’ll quickly take them away to another room to extract the blood.
We’ll then transport your cord blood to our Cell Therapy Centre in Nottingham, make sure it’s suitable for transplant, and put it in our ‘cord bank’. Here it’ll be cryogenically frozen for a number of years.
When someone needs a lifesaving transplant, we’ll test their tissue against yours (and thousands of others) to see if it’s a match.
And if it is? Your cord blood could be their cure.
Pretty remarkable for something that doctors normally throw away as medical waste, isn’t it?
Watch our animation to find out more:
If you meet our criteria we’ll arrange for you to meet a staff member from the hospital where you’re going to give birth to discuss donating. Then, if you want to go ahead, they’ll ask you to sign a form giving your formal consent.
When you go into labour, we’ll arrange for one of our staff to be there to collect your umbilical cord and placenta after you give birth.
Finally we’ll visit you when you’re still in hospital to take a blood sample to double check you’re fit and healthy to donate.
If we can’t arrange to meet you and get your consent before the birth, we can send you a sticker to put on the front of your medical notes saying we can collect your cord blood. We’ll then ask you to sign the consent form to use it after the birth.
If you have any questions at all about donating your cord blood, please email email@example.com or call 0303 303 0303.
‘I wish I could thank this stranger in Japan for saving my daughter’s life. They will never know how grateful we are.’
Robert Mason, father of eight-year-old Sorrel, whose life was saved by a cord blood transplant
Do you live in London, Manchester, or Leicester?
'The whole process is so easy, and if one sick little boy or girl could be helped from it, how amazing would that be?'