C-sections and cord blood banking: what you need to know
When it comes to cord blood banking, having a C-section changes everything! Unlike vaginal births, C-sections are major surgery performed under sterile conditions. Concerns about infection determine both who and what can be in the surgical area. Sterilized bags, approved for C-sections, make cord blood banking possible for C-section labors.
For example, fathers are sometimes not allowed to participate in the delivery. Even when they are permitted in the operating room, they must wear scrubs and stand behind a curtain or partition that separates them from the sterile area.
When having a C-section, there are also special considerations for cord blood banking, starting with the collection kit. Just like any other surgical instrument, the collection bag must be completely sterile—inside and out—to be FDA approved for use in the surgical area. Currently, only Americord and Viacord offer collection bags approved for C-sections. Other cord blood banks run a long sterile tube from the surgical area to the unsterilized collection bag exterior, working back and forth between sterile and unsterile conditions.
The cord blood collection process itself is also slightly different for C-sections. First, the surgeon must complete the surgery, suturing the uterus and attending to any surgical concerns of the mother, before collecting the umbilical cord blood and tissue. This delay yields less cord blood than a vaginal birth, where collection is more immediate. For best results, it’s best to bank with a cord blood company that publishes the highest stem cell yield, such Americord, the only company with Cord Blood 2.0 technology.
Should the need for a C-section arise, Americord cord blood specialists are available to answer any questions about birth planning, what to pack in your hospital bag, and the pros and cons of cord blood banking. If you’ve already enrolled with a company that does not meet the unique requirements of a C-section, Americord will reimburse any cancellation fee once you have successfully bank with us.