Please stop advertising for Cord Blood Banking on this site!!

I love this site as a resource, and think it's a great place to get women thinking about the types of births they want. I was dismayed, however, to see that the banner advertisement is for cord blood banking. On a site that promotes maternal and infant wellbeing, this will lead many people to think that cord blood banking is a legitimate, safe route to take.

In order to get enough blood to bank, your baby's cord must be clamped and cut shortly after birth. The blood that is left in the cord and collected for storage was intended for your baby-not in 5 or 10 or twenty years, but in the minutes following birth. In a delayed cord clamping situation that surge of blood with contractions following the baby's birth actually helps your baby's heart and lungs work properly to breathe air. Most instances of resuscitation could be prevented by waiting for the cord to stop pulsing and for the baby to get the full volume of blood that he or she is supposed to have.

I applaud modern science for figuring out that the stem cells in cord blood have value in treating disease, however, isn't it better that your baby get his or her full allotment of those stem cells at birth so the developing body can be healthy?

Please find a new advertiser and fully investigate the implications of early cord clamping.

Tags: clamping, cord

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We are investigating this but have sold this ad already until Aug 1. After that it will no longer be there. However we are promoting options and choice and as with anything relating to pregnancy, birth and parenting, we want to encourage people to research their choices and make decisions for themselves, without feeling judged by others.
This discussion is not intended to judge anyone's choices, and I respect that women and their families will make the decisions that are right for them and their personal circumstances.

In light of your advocacy on behalf of women and babies showing them that what is promoted as the "norm" is not always the safest or healthiest option, I am pointing out information that is NOT being told to women: that early cord clamping may indeed have long-term health effects. Cord blood banking is being heavily marketed to women and their families, often by using the "just in case" fear factor. In addition, it has not been proven to be beneficial for what it claims.

Thanks again for providing all the information you do, and a forum in which to share it!
Amy-

I appreicate the information that you have provided above. Before we considered storing our son's cord blood, I too did a lot of research. Maybe I was so overwelmed with the benefits that I didn't even consider looking into the 'downside' of cord blood banking. This has aroused my interest to do more reading on the subject matter and I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

-Teddy
When I was pregnant with my son, I looked into cord blood banking and when it was way out of my financial reach, I looked into cord blood donation, which wasn't an option for me where I delivered.

Later, I learned of the benefits of not clamping the cord early. I never found any information about it when I did my research so hopefully this site will be a good resource for other moms looking into their options.

Side note, I don't remember the exact statistics but it seemed like there was a decent chance that the stem cells from cord blood would not even be helpful for the child it came from. I should probably not write that until I have more info but I just remember reading that in passing.
Ami,

There is finally starting to be some info about the benefits of delayed cord clamping....I remember when expecting my first that the idea seemed to just be a "nice" option but I couldn't find any info that would indicate early cord clamping was a bad idea.

When I first heard about cord blood banking I was intrigued and excited, but, like you, I found out that there is little proof that it can be used the way its propenents claim. Add to that the possible health problems associated with early clamping, and my gut tells me it's better for my baby to just wait.

Cheers,

Amy
I, too, find that I am learning new things all the time Teddy....I had some practices I didn't want done at my second birth as I learned more (decided against most prenatal testing with the second, for instance) and as I await my third baby I have chosen to forego other interventions (for instance, no Dopplers or ultrasounds this time around).

I have found the sheer amount of information to be overwhelming from time to time, but well worth it....we live in an age of so many choices, although many professionals and experts don't actually present information in such a way that women feel they have a choice.

It's wonderful that there are so many ways to share information and support.

Cheers,

Amy
I've just found this great discussion of early cord clamping on www.midwife.info: http://www.midwifeinfo.com/articles/cord-clamping--please-wait
i never knew what the difference was about early cord clamping as i have always seen in hospitals and on tv that the cord is clamped immediately after the baby is born, and when my daughter was born in january of 2008 i was surprised that they did not clamp it immediately after they did wait for it to stop pulsing she is my first daughter but i knew long before i was even pregnant waht kind of birth i wanted and that i did not want a hospital birth being the fact that when at a hospital they almost always keep you hooked up to monitors and iv's i do not like needles and that is one thing that pushed me to want to go to a midwife/birth center for my daughters birth the day i found out i was pregnant i immediately went home and researched places in san diego that offered the water birth and found a place that was within minutes to my home i am so happy with my daughters birth and my husband is much happier with her birth than with his first daughter's birth (hospital) because of the homey and family feeling that we got from the staff that was there and for my daughters birth i had absolutely no problems and she was 3 weeks early i have recommended friends to the birth center and we have decided that if we are still in san diego (military) for the next pregnancy we will go back to them
So glad to hear you had such a great experience with your first Lori. Most people don't know that early cord clamping could be a problem, because, like you said, it's what we automatically think happens. I never really thought about it until I started looking at biological anthropology....what would humans do if there were no cultural or social interferences? What do other undisturbed mammals do? Well, they leave it alone.
After much research and pondering, we banked privately with our third baby and will do so again with our fourth. If we left everything "undisturbed" and did not evolve with the advances of science and medicine, women would still be dying from childbirth!! There is a balance Amy. It's perfectly ok for the cord stem cells to be extracted. We need people doing this and not necessarily banking privately, but at least donating to public banks. The potential cures are tremendous and fear mongering about the process does not help. We all need options and informed CHOICE without being judged especially on a mothers site.
I'm a different Amy from those who have responded above--can't swing a stick around here without hitting an Amy! I was interested in this line of argument: "If we left everything "undisturbed" and did not evolve with the advances of science and medicine, women would still be dying from childbirth!!"

I wanted to point out that the maternal death rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in decades and our infant mortality rate is shameful. This is the case even though we spend more on maternity care, including the "advances of science and medicine" than any other country in the world. Certainly, modern medicine and surgical birth have saved many lives. There is no argument there. When used appropriately, medical technology is a blessing. However, when applied to healthy women with healthy labors it can cause more harm than good and lead us to believe that birth cannot be accomplished by the average woman without medical intervention. In fact, the more interventions you receive, the higher the likelihood of requiring a cesarean. We often hear "thank goodness I had a cesarean to save my baby" with no mention of the fact that it was due to a failed non-medical induction which caused the baby to be in fetal distress in the first place (that's just one example of many actual scenarios). This has led many to believe that technology is always superior to mother nature. I'm not accusing you of believing this, I'm just making a point that technology is not always for the best and sometimes leaving things "undisturbed" is really better.

From a historical perspective, once birth moved from the home with midwives to the hospital with physicians, the maternal death rate increased significantly. Turned out it was caused by docs delivering babies after treating sick people and touching dead people and not washing their hands. They resisted the belief that they were at fault for years before it was proven they they were spreading deadly germs to these moms. The rate of childbirth related death has dropped in part due to "the advances of science and medicine" but also in large part due to environmental interventions, improvements in nutrition, improvements in access to health care, improvements in surveillance and monitoring of disease, increases in education levels, and improvements in standards of living. Many OB's would still never even entertain the idea that their use of routine (often unnecessary) interventions have anything to do with the mortality rates. The blame is put back on women--because they are said to be older, fatter and unhealthier than in the past. No recognition whatsoever that their policies and technology plays a part.

I realize that was a bit of a detour from the original topic. I fully agree that everyone needs to do their own research on all of their options and make the choices that best meet their own values, whether it be cord blood banking or any of the other choices parents make.
I love this thread, so much information and encouraging us all to do our own research. When my midwife told me that they do not clamp the cord until the placenta is delivered and the cord has stopped pulsating I thought that was so cool knowing that my baby would get all that she was meant to receive from her placenta. I also came to conclusion that if she got the cord blood now then the likelyhood of her needing it in the future would be less. Like you Amy G we also did no ultrasounds due to the fact that there is no research on their safety. My midwife was able to predict more accurately than an ultrasound how big the baby was and what position she and the placenta were in. I would like more info about not using Doppler as well. What are the alternatives? I guess like any other medical intervention it will be there if needed.

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