View Full Version : Donating umbilical cords
Hi there fellow mummies!!! :D
I had a baby 10 months ago and desperately tried to ring various hospitals and organizations prior to the birth to donate my umbilical cord for research or to someone who was ill and needed that as a life saving option. I live in Melbourne and found no one who did this. There were I think two public hospitals that offered this but you had to be delivering in those hospitals for the "collection". I was sooooo disappointed.
I am going to try and have another baby, so I was wondering if anyone has any info that I don't?? I know this is a contoversial issue, but it is what I want to do. If I can help someone in need by giving them something that is only going to be discarded, then I will absolutely do it.
Please, if you have any issue with this topic, don't post. I am only seeking any info if anyone has it.
Look forward to any help that can be given.
I too asked about donating my umbilical cord blood as I had heard how valuable it can be both for research and for transfusions.
No one local provided the service unfortuneatley. But it may be worth asking your local blood bank. Surely if anyone can see the importance of your donation it will be them.
Good luck and hopefully you have some luck donating next time round.
I was really interested in donating cord blood and we actually did research and put an article together on the subject in one of our newsletters. There's a link here: http://www.bubhub.com.au/newsletter/oct0401.htm
The article details all the places that you can make public donations in Australia - sadly there are very few. I was really disappointed and we had feedback after the newsletter from other viewers who felt the same way. We passed the comments on to the relevant authorities but were told the usual 'insufficient funding' etc etc
My 3rd baby is due today (no signs yet!!!) and I won't be able to donate cord blood because the public service isn't available at the Royal Women's Hospital Brisbane (probably the largest maternity facility in Qld). You can donate at the Mater in Brisbane but a friend of mine who had her baby there wasn't able to because she had her baby 'out of office hours'! Another friend who had her baby at the Mater didn't donate cord blood because she just didn't understand what the blood would be used for, so just ticked 'no' on the form.
I hope the article helps - and if viewers feel strongly, please do place posts here and we'll contact the relevant authorities again and see if it's possible to get anything changed...
I am having my baby at the Angliss Hospital in Ferntree Gully and I am able to donate the cord blood there. You have to fill in forms and have some blood tests etc but nothing very complicated.
I didn't try the blood bank last time so I will give them a go, but like bubhub states, there is not enough funding so I guess that may not be an option. I will certainly try though.
I know a number of ladies who are having babies, and I am sure that they will be happy to donate as well I recently rang the "coin for a cord" organization who are raising funds for this particular issue, but no go. They are raising funds, but not doing anything about women who are ready to donate now.
Meshan, I think your hospital, the Royal Womens and one other one collect the cords. As I am having my baby in a private hospital, (due to complications with the first and will be there for this one as well), they will not collect the cords unless you give birth in these three hospitals. I am sure that an adult or a parent of a sick child would do anything in their power to get these cords if it means saving a life or having a better quality of life. And from your post, all it takes is a blood test. I know that there would be other costs involved, but is there a site where people are actually looking for cord donations? As we have our blood tests anyway when we are pregnant, can't we find out the additional information that is needed, and post to that site in case there is a match? Then the relevant parties can organize the pick-up, storage and costs etc? I am sure that there would be legal and ethical problems there!! It just seems so simple to me.
I really think that more attention should be focused on this issue. The government spends money to treat these people who are ill, however this could actually save costs in the long run if it means shorter hospital stays, better recovery rates, decrease in medications, etc.
I am still hopeful.
It may be worth sending an email to the Cord Blood Bank their address is email@example.com their phone/fax is 03 9345 5834
Like most things in health care there isn't enough money to provide the services needed.
thanks for all these links.
i inquired about 12 months ago now at the RBWH about banking mine for future use, but was told it would costs me thousands, so I guess it ended up with all the other medical waste....shame!
Will definitely follow it up better next time.
i couldnt afford to donate privatly but thought i might as well do it publicly only to be told the hospital i was having my daughter at didnt have the vacility's to do it i was very disappointted as something that could have saved someones life maybe even my own or that of one of my children was just wastefully thrown out with all the other medical waste i think its a really shame that not everyone has a chance to donate it and maybe save a life
Being able to give cord blood is a wonderful thing, as everyone has realised sometimes it is hard to do and privatly can be expensive.
Why not give all the nutrients to your own child, ask for delayed cord clamping and just watch your baby change colour as they receive the nutrients, i did this with both of my boys.
My mother is in remission from leukemia, cord blood is used to help children with leukemia I tried to donate my cord blood, but was advised that the hospital didnt do this.
I also kept my placenta and took a print of it (basically pressed it onto white paper) it is so amazing to look at, it actually looks like a flower and the umbilical cord as the stem!
I never knew about the delayed cord clamping. My first was via a caesar, so I wonder if this would still apply. I will have to ask about the next one as it will be the same process.
As for the print of the placenta!!! That kinda blew me away. How unique. Not something I would have thought of in a million years. LOL.
Now in one of my previous posts, I was talking about the cost involved of collecting the placenta etc. I didn't actually mean for the donor to pay the costs. What I was trying to get across was if I had a sick child/relative/friend, and I knew that there was a match for them, as the "receiver" of the placenta, I would be willing to pay the cost of doing all of that. If I knew that it could mean the difference between life or death, then the cost would be irrelevant.
And that is what frustrates me. That there are women out there who are willing to donate, yet there is not a sufficient system in place to allow this. Yes I know about the cost, but how about the government cutting back on their supperannuation payouts, or their private dinners paid for by our tax dollars, or their first class trips around the world, or their refurbushing of their offices every year! It's not that there is insufficient funding, it's the ridiculous spending of the funding that does not allow great life saving opportunities like this to go ahead. Then of course, there is the other aspect. If there is a chance that this can be such a great life saving option, does the government, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals etc really want this to go ahead. After all, think of all the money they will miss out on from the sick and the dying!!
Bit cynical aren't I?? LOL :rolleyes:
I also posted a note under caesarean, have a look.
I had two c/sections and did this with both as well as help birth my second baby thru c/section! I will get a photo of my placenta print and find somewhere for you to have a look at it.
I totally agree if we have children so sick they should do something about helping them and assit the funding with cord blood banks, but I know there is more to it than just collecting at the end of it, i think it is a staffing issue also.
I wanted to donate mine and had the forms filled, the nurse ready to collect it (my little gem was born at Mater Private in Brisbane) and then I had a placenta that wanted to stay put. Evenutally had it maually removed and then it is no good for collection. I learnt that day that the cord blood must be collected within 15 mins or so of the birth otherwise it is no good!
They are really keen at the Mater if you tick yes. The special nurse that came in was so excited because she said no one understood what it was used for (even though they give veryone pamphlets etc ebfore hand explaining all of this) and that not too many decided to donate. I am just sorry I was not able to donate the cord blood for such a worthy cause.
It seems so many of us are willing to donate and are just so baffled as to why this precious source of potentially life saving blood isn't being snapped up by every hospital in the country. Obviously cost is a factor. But isn't our government in budget surplus at the moment?
I have decided to recruit some help from the media. I emailed into Sunrise to have the issue put up on their ROS wall. For those of you who do not watch channel seven in the morning Sunrise is a program who love to tackle issues and put things into the limelight. ROS (Responses Of Sunrise)wall is where they write up issues that are brought to their attention and then they set out to get some serious answers. I only emailed them this morning and apparantly I will be contacted if they are going to follow up the subject. I will post and let every know if/when they do contact me. I don't have a lot of info on the subject, only my own experiences and the info that people have posted so far.Anyone who has any other ideas or information, please post and let's band together so future Mums can donate this precious source of healing with ease if they choose to do so.
I just feel that sitting back and saying that something should be done is not enough. We need to actively seek answers from the government and look for ways which we as individuals can help raise awareness and money for cord blood donation. I hate to say it but, what if one day someone we know needs these donations........???
:) Mum to Alec (Lalla) 17 months and bub due May 2nd
That is fantastic! Let's hope that they follow through with the subject on Sunrise.
I know that bubhub is also very passionate about this subject, so maybe if we all put our ideas together, something can be done? Even if it is to bring more attention to the subject.
Anyone else with any ideas, just list them and let's see what we can do.
Hi Lallas' Mum
Great idea to contact Sunrise - if they get back to you and you need contact details for people at the public cord blood bank (the australia-wide national office), please let me know as I've got these details on file. Also willing to make comment as a mum-to-be (now 5 days overdue!!!) who is not able to give publicly because facilities aren't available at the Royal Women's Brisbane. As we might be in the hospital when Sunrise contact you, please call us on the mobile if you need this info (number is on the main bub hub website under 'contact us'.
Just for those who have written about donating privately....if you donate cord blood publicly, this resource is used anonymously for any person requiring cord blood that matches your donation, or for research.
If you donate privately, your donation is stored (at your cost) and can only be used by your family - so if no need ever arises in your family, the cord blood is not used.
Thanks everybody for all your help on this subject - I'm going to add a link to this thread to the home page on the site to see if we can get more comment too.
you still have not had your baby!! I have your belly mask waiting for my artist talents to start on it! Tell that man of yours to lend a helping hand!!! :)
For cord blood donation, i recently heard that there is an old chinese method of drying out the cord, crushing it up and storing it (kind of like powder form) this apparently has been used for a long time, but I have never followed this information thru, i might try and look into to it or if anyone else has heard of it.
How's everyone going with the things they're following up? Any updates?
I haven't heard back from sunrise. (very disappointing) :( I am considering writing a better compliation to email them. Time is my biggest factor. I have an active 18 month old and am having a c/s to deliver my rather large 2nd child on May 3rd. I have gathered snippets of information from websites but just have to compile it. If anyone has more time I am happy to emails copies of what I have printed off various sites to be compiled.
You can either post here, send me a private message or email me direct.
Mum to Alec and bub due May 3rd
I had a call from the Sunday Mail up here in Brisbane after they'd seen our posts here on the forum. They came around on Wednesday and took a photo and spoke to three of us with different 'stories' relating to cord blood donations...
- one girl had donated cord blood successfully after her c-section
- one girl had given birth at a hospital where donations are possible, but the service was too busy to collect at the time of her birth (too many other mums giving birth at the same time)
- I wasn't able to donate because there were no collection facilities at the hospital
I'm hoping that the story will be in this weekend's Sunday Mail for those in Brisbane. Hopefully they might send the story on to some of the other states too. Any feedback from that article will be forwarded to me.
I've got a collection of emails from people that I'm keeping so if anybody gets any more, please feel free to either post stuff to the forum, or forward emails onto me. I'm happy to collate everything and when we've got enough stuff to forward it on as appropriate.
I forwarded the link to this forum onto my neighbour who is the journalist from the Sunday Mail who you saw on Wed, as I thought it would make a great story. You obviously don't mind (I hope!!?????????????). Should be good (they have a readership in the order of 1.3 million I think!)
I just wanted to say that I think it's a good idea to try and contact Sunrise. Maybe if a few of us email with the same request, we might get a response?
I'm all for stem cell research through cord blood donation and desperately wanted to donate. Alas, there are NO cord collection facilities in Newcastle and I certainly couldn't afford to have it cryogenically stored privately - it's not what I wanted anyhow.
I will definately try to email Sunrise too, Lalla's Mum. A united front and all that!!
I've been off my feet for a few days and was so glad to come back and see that a little headway has been made. Let's keep trying to get as much exposure on this subject as possible.
I'll be in bed for another week or so (IVF and difficulties etc), but I will also email sunrise as well. Anyone else who has any ideas, bring 'em on. We need to get a whole heap more ladies to come and post in this thread.
Is it worth getting some sort of petition started between us? Something we can print off but looks like it has come from a united front. If we can get representatives from each state to get as many signatures as possible, could they then be sent into the federal government? Is this another avenue to get this subject noticed?
Don't really know how this all works and how to go about changing the law on things like this.
Take care all. I'll be back soon to get an update.
well i didn't see the story in today's sunday mail, so i expect it will in next sunday's edition.
will put a link to the story next sunday if it's there.
Thanks for suggesting the article to your neighbour - it was really helpful. I've just had an email from the reporter, the article was due to go in last weekend,
but because of Sir Joh's death, space was given over to that story instead. The article should be in next Sunday (1 May).
no worries Hilary. anytime! if you ever have any other ideas for a story you'd like, contact me and I'll put in a good word to my friend!!!
She also did a story the Sunday before last on a buddhist primary school which we're trying to get up and running in Brisbane, so if you know any parents or teachers or anyone who would be interested in this at all, here's the link to the story:
and the school:
(sorry, blatant self-interested promotion not intended!!)
I just wanted to say thank-you to everyone out their who is so keen to give the cord blood of their babies, my husband recieved a stem cell transplant this year for Leukaemia and it has given him a chance at life.
The Royal Women's doesn't collect the cord blood which is a shame as it has the biggest Transplant unit in Australia. Also to find a donor from overseas means it costs the Government $50 000, so you think it would worth extending our stem cell blood banks through this method. Our heamatologist does tell us it is often not enough stem cells to give to an adult but could be used for children.
Anyway I just really wanted to say thanks, and if it is something important to you you can contact the Red Cross and be on the Stem cell donors list yourself, it is a lot like giving blood, so not too painful, but has the potential for a lot of joy for someone.
I had my first baby five months ago at RPA in Sydney and, after reading about the amazing things that can be done with cord blood, I decided to donate. After speaking to the Cord Blood Bank I was told that the only way I could do it was to advise the nursing staff of my desire to do this as I was admitted to hospital. Not surprisingly, I ended up forgetting to do this during the chaos of labour and the blood was discarded. Afterwards when I remembered, I was really disappointed that the opportunity was lost. Hopefully the hospitals and Blook Bank can improve this system in future to make it easier for mothers - filling out a form prior to the delivery, for example. Maybe there are reasons that this is not feasible but I can't think of any.
Last night my hubby told me that The Daily Telegraph in sydney had a story on donating cord blood some time last week. He read it and thought it was a great idea. I will be donating my cord blood in December when I have my baby at RPA Women & Babies.
I have recently given birth to my first child and during my pregnancy was also passionate about donating my baby's cord blood. After all, one day it might be my child who may need treatment.
I was just as disappointed as everyone else to find out that only two public hospitals in Brisbane offered this service and I had chosen to go privately. I was even more disappointed to find that there were no alternative arrangements for those having their babies at other hospitals to do so.
The only other option open to us was to store our baby's cord blood for our own possible private use through a private company cryogenically but of course this would cost thousands and not something we could afford. :eek:
If the government were truly serious about the future health of our population they would make this service more accessible to all and fund more research in this area. Especially when there are so many of us supporting the medical system by paying our taxes and Medicare levies and still choosing to pay for private medical care rather than overloading our already overcrowded public health network.
We need to put more pressure on these authorities to answer to us especially if they are wanting us to do our bit repopulating this country.
I donated my cord blood at the Mater Motherís Private Hospital Brisbane (which was one of the reasons I chose this hospital) in March 2003. Back then there were no restrictions as to what time you delivered because my baby was born on a Sunday at 11:30pm. I was delighted to know that my cord blood was in the bank ready to help someone someday Ė particularly another child.
When I was pregnant with my second child (August 2004 at 23 weeks) I discovered I had breast cancer. I was devastated and petrified not only for myself but for my unborn child and wanted to do everything in my power to protect the two of us.
My Oncologist recommended I pay particular attention to the possibility of banking my cord blood because not only did my unborn baby have a higher risk of getting leukemia but I could have a reoccurrence. Since there wasnít a guarantee of my cord blood being in the bank when required, my only option was private banking.
The collection of my second babyís cord blood (in November 2004) cost me around $2000 and there were addition costs for storage per year for 18 years. My husband and I believed it was the best way to spend our $3000 baby bonus!
What was most interesting about my cord blood collection? It was my Obstetrician who collected the blood, then packed it up in a little cardboard box and phoned the bank when it was ready for collection.
If my Obstetrician can draw the blood and arrange for the hospital to have it couriered to the bank; why isnít this happening with the public banks? Surely this would contribute to lowing costs.
It's wonderful to see so many people behind this cause, I look forward to the day when everyone's cord blood is collected without restrictions.
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