Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cord Blood Banking

Ever wondered wether to bank your newborn baby's blood or not? Its a new phenomenon, and I know I was confused about it when I was pregnant with my first. I was inundated with pamphlets and free, expensive looking folders stuffed full of literature. It all gave me a sense that it was very well thought out and studied and proven. But four years later, all the midwives and doulas I know are speaking out about the negative effect it can have on the baby. That's right. There is some pretty pointing evidence and common sense explanations for why it may have an extremely negative effect on your baby, to in essence, deprive them of 1/3 of their blood at birth. Blood that, if given a few more minutes, would have found itself in the baby. This procedure may even cause the diseases that the blood is used to treat in the future. My husband lost 1/3 of his blood in a bleeding ulcer, and his heart almost stopped and he was on death's door. I just read an article where a baby's blood had been banked at birth, and then a few weeks later was found to have a grapefruit sized tumor blocking its kidney, which was treated with several rounds of chemo, and the cord blood was only used after the tumor had completely vanished, as a sort of safety that the tumor not return. Not much of a treatment if you ask me. This article, via Midwife Thinking, addresses this topic. And don't miss the You Tube video, towards the bottom of the article, made by a doula trainer, Penny Simkin. It is the most concise and articulate explanation I have found on why NOT to bank cord blood. It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm glad I made the choice not to bank my baby's blood, and in exchange, allowed her newborn body to soak up as much of it as she could in the moments after birth. As a midwife I know once said: "If that blood is so curative, and so important, then let's give it all to the baby at birth." I have to agree with her. Who knows? It may just prevent diseases, if its actually allowed to transmit completely to the baby by delayed cord clamping (a topic explained in the video) instead of being clamped and thrown out with the placenta. Just another one of the myriad choices we have to make as parents on what we feel is best for our baby. What will you choose?

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