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After your 28th week of pregnancy 

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your decision to donate umbilical cord blood.
  2. Learn if you meet cord blood donation guidelines.
  3. Check the list of hospitals that have partnerships with public cord blood banks to identify if the hospital where you are delivering collects umbilical cord blood on behalf of a public cord blood bank.

Unfortunately, if the hospital where you’re delivering is not listed, you will be unable to donate at this time. 
Thank you for your generous desire to donate your cord blood in support of our mission to save lives!

If I cannot donate my baby’s umbilical cord blood, how else can I help? 
Thank you for your willingness to help. You can give hope to patients by: 

While you are in the hospital

More than 25,000 patients around the world have received cord blood transplants from donations to public cord blood banks.
  1. When you arrive at the hospital, tell the labor and delivery team you are donating umbilical cord blood.
  2. After your baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is clamped and blood from the umbilical cord and placenta are collected into a sterile bag.
  3. You will be asked for a blood sample to be tested for infectious diseases. This blood is taken only from you, not your baby.
  4. Keep a copy of the informed consent in case you need to contact the cord blood bank at a later date.
  5. Shortly after your baby’s birth, the cord blood unit is delivered to the public cord blood bank.

What happens at the cord blood bank?

After the cord blood unit arrives at the cord blood bank, it is:

  1. Checked to be sure it has enough blood-forming cells for a transplant. If there are too few cells, the cord blood unit may be used for research related to using cord blood for transplant.
  2. Tested to be sure it’s free from infectious diseases.
  3. Tissue typed and listed on the Be The Match Registry®  where it will be available for patients in need of a transplant. To protect your family’s privacy, the cord blood is identified only by number and never by name.
  4. Frozen in a liquid nitrogen freezer and stored.

Doctors search the Be The Match Registry® for donated cord blood units and bone marrow donors to find a match when their patient needs a transplant.


Read Cord Blood FAQs.

Call us toll-free (in the United States) at 1 (800) MARROW-2  (1-800-627-7692).