What I Never Knew About Cord Blood Banking

31 weeks

I’m expecting my fourth baby and don’t think I could accurately answer the question, “What is cord blood banking?”

I mean, I know it has to do with birth and there is prep work beforehand in regards to signing up and talking to your OB or midwife about the actual event, but to give you scientific information or say it’s awesome or not … well, I’m totally not educated enough to share much. 

Being the researcher I am, I’m honestly surprised that I’ve never explored cord blood banking. I’ve heard the term floating around ever since I was pregnant with Jemma, but have never delved in deep enough to determine if it was a good fit for our family. 

Which kind of annoys me. Because as a parent I try to be on top of stuff like this! And I’m totally not :/ Good news is, July is Cord Blood Awareness Month and you (and I) are about to get real aware :) Or, at least gain a better understanding of this important pregnancy decision. 

So, what IS cord blood banking? 

Cord blood banking starts with cord blood. As in, blood from a baby’s umbilical cord. That cord blood has stem cells and those stem cells are powerful. I learned from the Cord Blood Registry that, “Stem cells can heal the body, promote recovery, and offer an enormous amount of therapeutic potential.” They’re little powerhouses. Unique and truly amazing! 

This 2 minute video perfectly describes the basics of cord blood and you can read further to hear from families who have benefited from banking their baby’s cord blood.

So, what happens if you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood?

First you connect with the Cord Blood Registry and order a kit. Then, after your baby is born, cord blood is collected and sent to the Cord Blood Registry. There, it is processed and stored until you need it. 

Now, my biggest question (and maybe yours) is the whole idea of delayed cord clamping.

I think this is what first made me postpone further researching cord blood banking. I was, and still am, all about giving my baby as much of their cord blood as possible. I’ve since learned, that I was being quite preemptive in assuming that one choice negated the other. It turns out that it is possible to do both delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking. Who knew?!? There are details and specifics to evaluate, but it is definitely possible! Learn more here and talk to your care provider to determine if you want to proceed with both post birth plans.


I can’t say for sure if we’ll pursue cord blood banking with this little one, but I can say that I’m happy I finally know more about it. Pregnancy and birth and science is truly a wonder to me and I can hardly believe that this potential resource is available to regular ol’ moms and dads like you and me.

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  1. says

    I have always wondered about this and been kind of intimidated. Thanks so much for sharing the information!!

    • Gretchen says

      I was in the same boat! And from what I’ve learned, a lot has changed over the years too!