How do we collect your baby’s stem cells at birth?

Are you thinking about banking your new born baby’s umbilical cord blood? Let’s take a look at how stem cells are harvested from cord blood. This is your umbilical cord blood storage guide. 

How are stem cells collected at birth?

Cord blood stem cells are collected at birth. While it only takes a few minutes and is a very simple thing to do, the benefits could last for a lifetime. Everything you need to collect your umbilical cord blood is included in our convenient Collection Kit. This includes all the instructions you’ll need to share with your birthing partner as well as the healthcare professional who will actually collect the samples. So, your first task is to order your kit so it’s ready and waiting when you give birth. 

The cord blood collection process is so easy it lets you focus on the important thing – actually giving birth! Once your midwife is happy with the health of you and your new baby they’ll collect the relevant cord blood and cord tissue, something that can be done either before or after the placenta is delivered and the umbilical cord clamped and cut. You don’t need to do anything differently. You don’t have to clamp the cord any earlier than usual and your partner can still cut the cord if they want to. It’s just like an ordinary birth.  

The cord blood is removed from the mother’s umbilical cord and the placenta soon after the baby is born. The person nominated to carry out the collection takes 3-5 ounces of blood from the cord and placenta, which contains about a teaspoon of stem cells. The collection process doesn’t cause any harm whatsoever to the mum or the baby. 

Is it painful to have stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood?

In a word, no – you won’t feel a thing, nor will your beautiful new baby. 

What happens to the umbilical cord blood once it has been harvested?

All you do is follow the simple instructions in your collection kit. The phlebotomist will take the samples and make them ready for transport to our lab. Once they’ve arrived the samples are taken to a sterile environment and given a unique barcode before being carefully processed. We’ll test the samples for microbiological contamination and make sure the stem cell concentration is high enough. Then they’re stored in tamper-proof evidence bags in a vat of super-sold vapour phase liquid nitrogen, where they can safely remain for either 25 or 50 years – it’s your choice. We’ll send you a Storage Certificate to keep, for your records, and we’ll only take the cells out of storage if your child needs them for treatment. 

Let’s explore collecting a baby’s stem cells  

If you’d like to take the first step you can order your kit now, download a brochure, or schedule a friendly call with a member of our expert team.  


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Our hope is that the information in this brochure will empower you as you weigh-up your cord blood and tissue storage options and prepare for your family’s healthy future.

Download your free guide to Biovault Family's cord blood banking!