Umbilical cord blood or cord blood is the blood that circulates through the umbilical cord between the fetous and the placenta. It is the blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta, after the baby is born and the cord is cut. If parents decide not to donate or bank their baby’s cord blood, the umbilical cord, placenta and residual blood is usually discarded after birth.
Cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells (HSCs). The value of HSCs lies in their unique ability to treat blood cancers, immune deficiencies and even certain genetic disorders.
Umbilical cord blood collection has been carried out for over two decades and is only done after the baby has been safely delivered. As such, the collection is completely non-invasive and painless for both mother and baby.