“It’s something that is really important to me because it allows me to do so many things and reach so many people and to help people. I want people to know me as and remember me as a person that helped others, a person who loved others.”(https://www.nurses.co.uk/nursing/blog/the-5-things-i-love-most-about-working-in-midwifery/)
Isn’t that lovely? The philosopher Plato agreed. As he said,
“The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a midwife to the awakening of the soul in another person.”(https://www.azquotes.com/quote/735649?ref=midwife)
As you can tell from the quotes above, midwifery is special, just like the people who become midwives. It’s such a joyful career and so varied. A midwife helps people every day. As a midwife you’re a skilled educator, helping women understand their bodies and pregnancies better, feel safer, be more confident and make childbirth memorable.
In midwifery, the learning goes both ways. A midwife learns valuable lessons from every woman they take care of, simply because every pregnancy is different and every birth is unique. You become part of the family, getting to know the parents, the kids and even their pets. You play a part in bringing a precious new life safely into the world, and by doing so you see the people you care for learn and grow. In a word, it’s a beautiful career.
You see the love in the dad’s eyes as the child is born and you encounter so many different couples, from traditional to same-sex couples, older to younger, from every country and every walk of life. And you get to help brand new humans emerge into the world safely every day. What could be more magical than that?
At the same time, as a midwife, you gather an enormous store of expertise, insight and experience, a constant learning curve that keeps your role interesting. It’s about empowering women too, inspiring awe in women’s bodies, helping them understand that they’re amazing.
As the midwife Barbara Katz Rothman says, “It’s not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth.” (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/823168?ref=midwife) So what is a midwife’s role in the collection of your baby’s cord blood?
Does the midwife collect cord for cord blood banking?
“In all cultures, the midwife’s place is on the threshold of life, where intense human emotions, fear, hope, longing, triumph, and incredible physical power-enable a new human being to emerge. Her vocation is unique.”Sheila Kitzinger (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/735649?ref=midwife)
Your midwife is with you all the way, supporting you throughout the process of giving birth, there to reassure you, inform you, calm you, and make you feel like the hero you are. They don’t actually collect your baby’s cord blood but they’ll be there for you when it happens. So how do you collect cord blood? An experienced phlebotomist collects the cord blood, and they’ll do it quickly and expertly.
A phlebotomist is specially trained to collect blood samples from patients, often to be examined in a laboratory for the quick diagnosis of all sorts of diseases and conditions. When taking blood they know exactly how to keep the patient safe and happy without disturbing the great job your midwife is doing.
But what is the role of the midwife during cord blood collection?
You can have your cord blood collected via a home birth or at hospital. Either way your midwife can easily follow the instructions provided by us when you decide to save cord blood with a specialist bank.
You’ll want to request your cord blood collection kit during your second or third trimester, at least four weeks before your due date. The kit comes complete with all the equipment needed plus step-by-step directions for clamping the umbilical cord, collecting the cord blood itself, and packing it safely at room termperature for delivery to our laboratory.
How is cord blood collected?
What is the cord blood collection procedure? Collecting your baby’s cord blood and tissue only takes a few minutes, and we’ve made it as simple as we can. Your umbilical cord blood Collection Kit contains everything you need, including instructions to share with your birthing partner, the midwife, and the phlebotomist who will collect your cord blood, cord tissue and a sample of your own blood.
Keep the Collection Kit and instructions with your hospital bag so it’s ready when you are. As soon as you go into labour, contact your phlebotomist and keep them informed about your progress.
Your midwife plays a crucial role here. Unless they’re totally happy that all’s well with you and your newborn child, they won’t authorise the collection. It’s a very simple process that can be carried out either before or after your placenta has been delivered and the umbilical cord clamped and cut. You don’t need to clamp the cord early, and your partner can still cut the cord, often an important part of the ceremony of birth.
The phlebotomist will collect and label the samples ready for transport to our laboratory in a special pre-paid thermally insulated package. Once your baby’s cord blood has been collected someone should contact us so we can arrange a courier.
Once we get them, we transfer your samples to a sterile environment and give them their own unique barcode before processing them, testing for microbiological contamination, and checking the concentration of the stem cells. When our scientists are happy with everything the samples are stored in tamper-evident bags in vapour phase liquid nitrogen.
The stem cells are only extracted if and when there’s a medical reason, and you can choose to store tissue and cord blood for either 25 or 50 years, giving your child decades of potential protection just in case something goes wrong.
What should Your midwife know about your cord blood birth plan?
“Speak tenderly; let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.”Mother Teresa (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/823168?ref=midwife)
Every good midwife will be thrilled to be involved in such an exciting process. Here’s a diagram revealing the collection process steps your midwife will need to understand.
BSc (Hons) Microbiology
Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.