The Communication Process

Good communications with your phlebotomist is essential to ensure you get the best possible result with your collection.

Below is a simple summary of the communication process:

  • 1. On receipt of your details from the cord blood bank, we will assign to you two phlebotomists and provide them with your contact details.
  • 2. Within 24 hours of booking our service, your primary phlebotomist will call to introduce themselves to you.
  • 3. When the first signs of your labour show please contact your primary phlebotomist on the number provided. In turn your primary phlebotomist will notify your backup phlebotomist.
  • 4. You should keep your phlebotomist updated with each examination at the hospital (this is usually every four hours) or in between if the midwife expects the labour to progress quickly.
  • 5. During rush hours you may need to ask your phlebotomist to leave home slightly earlier. Please be aware that phlebotomists travelling within London area often use the underground which can cause some disruptions to communications.
  • 6. We would not normally expect a phlebotomist to attend the birthing facility before you have reached 8cm dilated.

Birth Plans

Your desire to have cord blood and cord tissue collected must be included in your birth plan.

Cord blood and cord tissue can be procured regardless as to whether you chose to give birth at home or in a hospital. Provided consent is given by yourself and the midwife, the collection can go ahead whether you have a natural delivery, caesarean delivery or water birth.

Your birth plan will also contain your requirements for the third stage of delivery.

You may opt to have a managed third stage which would suggest that you will be given an injection after the baby is born to help deliver the placenta quickly. The cord will be clamped by the midwife after the baby has been delivered. Once the placenta has been delivered it will be taken to the phlebotomist to perform the collection, normally in a room adjacent to the birth room.

Some expectant mothers opt for physiological third stage. This would suggest that no injection to help deliver the placenta is taken and often a clamp is not applied to the cord (placenta end). This may sometimes mean a significant amount of the cord blood is drained away before collection. Your phlebotomist will always do their very best to collect as much cord blood as possible whilst adhering to your wishes of third stage choice.

Your Collection

On occasion our phlebotomists are asked to perform in utero collections, meaning that the cord blood is collected before the placenta has actually been delivered. This can only be done with consent from both yourself and your midwife.

Of course your phlebotomist will respect your privacy at this precious time. Most collections are performed in a separate room away from the birth room. The phlebotomist will usually only enter the birth room to collect the maternal blood sample, however, where possible we advise doing this before delivery.

Your phlebotomist will discuss all of the options open to you when they call to introduce themselves. However, should you require any further information we can arrange for one of our umbilical cord blood & tissue advisors to call you.

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