• For thousands of patients fighting leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases, a marrow or cord blood transplant may be their only cure.
  • Umbilical cord blood is rich with the blood-forming cells that can help these children and adults. Donating your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank can help these patients get the transplant they need.
  • More than 25,000 patients around the world have received cord blood transplants because parents chose to donate their baby’s cord blood to public cord blood banks.

How cord blood helps patients:

  • The umbilical cord contains blood-forming cells – these are not embryonic stem cells.
  • The cells are collected after the baby’s birth. If the cord blood unit meets all criteria, it is stored and made available for any patient.
  • Many patients need donated cells because a disease is present in their own cells (such as leukemia or genetic disorders).
  • A transplant replaces the patient’s unhealthy blood-forming cells with new, healthy ones.

Why are cord blood donations needed?

  • 7 out of 10 people will not have a matching donor in their family. They depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match.
  • Adding more cord blood units from those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need to have hope for a cure.

Cord blood donation is safe, and free.

  • Cord blood donation is completely safe for you and your baby. Blood is collected from the umbilical cord–not your baby—immediately after birth.
  • Donation to a public cord blood bank is free. There are no costs for the collection or for storage of the cord blood.
  • Donating your baby’s cord blood does not change your labor or delivery in any way.
  • Your privacy, and your baby’s, is protected. Names of cord blood donors are never shared.

How cord blood is collected:

  • As with every delivery, after your baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
  • The blood left in the cord is collected. The cord blood unit is transferred to a public cord blood bank and if it meets criteria, is listed on the Be The Match Registry.

You may be able to donate if you are:

  • Expecting a single birth.
  • Expecting a delivery of at least 34 weeks’ gestation

You can give birth to hope.

Learn More
  • Between your 28th-34th week of pregnancy, speak with your doctor to let them know you would like to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public bank and review the donation guidelines. For a list of participating hospitals, click here.
  • If your hospital is listed, contact the cord blood bank that works with your hospital to find out more about what you need to do to donate.
  • If your hospital is not listed, click on the green button above to complete an eligibility form and chose to be referred to a public bank. Once this form is submitted, your information will be forwarded to a cord blood bank who will contact you to see if they can send you a donation kit and provide information on the donation process to your doctor. Because the referring cord blood bank’s collection and processing capacity is limited, not all of those who meet basic guidelines will be able to donate.
  • On the day you deliver, bring the collection kit with you to the hospital and be sure to alert the medical staff and nurses that you will be donating the baby’s cord blood.
  • After your baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is clamped and blood from the umbilical cord and placenta are collected into a sterile bag.
  • You will be asked for a blood sample to be tested for infectious diseases. This blood is taken only from you, not your baby.
  • Keep a copy of the informed consent in case you need to contact the cord blood bank at a later date.
  • Shortly after your baby’s birth, the cord blood unit is delivered to the public cord blood bank.