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Is it possible to store the umbilical cord blood at caesarean section?

According to the World Health Organization, cesarean section is one of the most common operations in the world. In some countries, the number of deliveries in this way exceeds the number of natural births, for example, in Brazil, according to some reports, more than 50% of births are realized through Caesarean section. In the USA, on average, more than 30% of children are born as a result of Caesarean section, in Ukraine this index is about 25%.

Why is cesarean section performed so often?

Some women believe that giving birth by Caesarean section is one of the benefits of civilization that is not a sin to use, it makes it possible to plan the date of delivery with some certainty, avoid pain during labor and reduce the likelihood of complications for the baby. In some countries, this operation is literally a “fashion” and patients ask doctors to prescribe a cesarean section. Other pregnant women are sure that physiological delivery is the best way of delivery, and they are ready to cope with pain if only the baby was born naturally. However, a qualified obstetrician-gynecologist must rely on international and national protocols when choosing a delivery strategy, and they only require a cesarean section in certain cases involving risks to the life of the mother or child. If there are no contraindications to natural childbirth, the doctor and the expectant mother, as a rule, are set up precisely for such tactics of their management.

Caesarean section may be planned or urgent. There are certain indications for a planned operation. Their presence is known during pregnancy and preparation for childbirth. These indications are:

  • mismatch in the size of the baby’s head and the mother’s pelvis (narrow pelvis)
  • incorrect position of the fetus in the period before childbirth
  • placenta previa
  • ophthalmic diseases in the mother (risk of retinal detachment, possible consequences of increased intraocular pressure)
  • HIV infection, genital herpes of the mother
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system
  • scar failure after a previous cesarean section, as well as some other factors that a doctor can assess during preparation for childbirth

Contrary to popular belief, multiple pregnancies, as well as pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization, are not indications for caesarean section.

The decision to conduct an emergency caesarean section is made by the obstetrician-gynecologist immediately during delivery. There are many indications for urgent surgery, and all of them are associated with a threat to the life of the mother or a child that arose during the birth.

It is important to remember that a cesarean section is not performed “at will”, but exclusively if necessary. However, a relatively large number of caesarean sections should not be considered a bad trend now compared to the practice of 20-30 years ago: proper decisions for the operation are one of the reasons for the decrease in maternal and child mortality rates.

Is cord blood collection possible at cesarean section?

Cord blood, as well as the placenta and the umbilical cord, can be collected and stored with any method of delivery. In this case, the decision on whether to conduct a collection always remains with the doctor assisting at childbirth. If a situation arises that threatens the life of the mother or child, doctors and other medical staff may be engaged in rescuing patients, and not in collecting blood. Fortunately, such cases are rare, because thanks to modern diagnostic methods, many complications can be predicted and prevented. Therefore, umbilical cord blood and placenta are collected both during planned and emergency caesarean section.

With cesarean section, the umbilical cord is cut in accordance with the regulations prescribed by international and national protocols and in a certain time. After cutting off, the umbilical cord contains an amount of cord blood sufficient to collect, process and isolate stem cells.

The placenta and umbilical cord can also be collected after cesarean section, as in natural childbirth. In both cases, doctors are guided by protocols that describe the process of collecting all biological materials, so no special training of specialists is required. Regardless of whether a cesarean section or natural birth is planned, a woman should only remind the doctor that she has signed an agreement with Cryobank to collect and store cord blood. Remember that this service does not imply any additional charge, the woman also does not need to buy any materials or sterile containers: Cryobank delivers all the necessary supplies to the maternity hospital where delivery is planned, 10-14 days before the planned date of delivery, together with a thermal container, in where the courier will deliver the collected biological material to the Cryobank laboratory. You can read about how umbilical cord blood processing is performed here . If you plan to store not only umbilical cord blood stem cells, but also cells and placenta extract, be sure to check out  on how these biological materials are processed.

Does the method of delivery affect the cost of cord blood collection?

No, the cost of biological material collection remains unchanged, regardless of whether the birth was natural or by cesarean section. You can calculate the cost of services for the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood, placenta and umbilical cord using a convenient calculator  on our website.

Whatever delivery tactics your doctor plans, remember that the moment you give birth to your baby is the only way to provide it with valuable stem cells of various types for the future. Already, they are used in the treatment of more than 100 diseases, and on this list there are also quite common ones – for example, osteoarthritis, vascular complications of diabetes, viral hepatitis B and C, chronic lower limb ischemia, coronary heart disease and other disorders. Preserving the umbilical cord blood stem cells and placenta today, you will give your child a unique cure for many diseases in any age.