By donating your baby’s cord blood, you and your baby become heroes with the very first action you take together. Talk to your doctor or midwife early in your pregnancy about your decision to donate cord blood and see if your delivery hospital partners with a public cord blood bank.
Is my delivery hospital affiliated with a cord blood bank?
Check the pdf to see if your hospital partners with a cord blood bank. If your hospital is listed, contact the cord blood bank for an eligibility assessment and next steps. See a sample assessment below. If your hospital is not listed, unfortunately, you won’t be able to donate.
Why is my hospital not listed?
For a hospital to participate in cord blood collections, it needs to partner with a public cord blood bank. Whether a hospital partners with a public cord blood bank is based on multiple factors like:
- Number of births in the hospital
- Diversity of the area where the hospital is located
- Proximity of the hospital to the bank (for cryopreservation)
Due to these factors, cord blood donation may not be available in all areas.
If your hospital collects cord blood for a cord blood bank, the bank will need to make sure you are eligible to donate. Here’s a sample of what banks will want to know to determine eligibility:
- I am 18 or older
- I am not related to the baby’s father by blood (i.e., first cousins)
- In the last 12 months, I have not had any tattoos or ear, skin or body piercings where shared or non-sterile inks, needles, instruments or procedures were used.
- I have never been told that I have aplastic anemia, hereditary spherocytosis, hereditary elliptocytosis, hypogammaglobulinemia or polycythemia.
- In the last 12 months, I have not required red blood cell or transfusion support.
- I have never been exposed to or infected with hepatitis B or C, HIV or the AIDS Virus, West Nile or Tuberculosis.
- I have not used a needle, even once, to take a drug not prescribed by a physician (including steroids) or in the last 12 months had sex with someone who has.
- In the last 12 months, I have not been treated or tested positive for syphilis.
- Neither I, nor my baby's father, nor any of my baby's siblings have ever had any type of cancer or leukemia (including skin cancers).
- During my pregnancy I have not been in contact with anyone who received the smallpox vaccine.
- I have never been treated with chemotherapy.
- I have never taken remicade, interferon, infliximab, etanercept, methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine, imuran, cellcept, cyclosporine or tacrolimus
- I am expecting only one baby.
- My baby does not have any known fetal abnormalities.
Other ways to get involved
Whether or not you are able to donate cord blood, there are other ways to get involved and help patients. There are opportunities to fundraise, volunteer and more. After your baby is born, you can also consider joining the Be The Match Registry®.