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Who is able to donate cord blood?
Health requirement: The donor registry Be The Match has a short pre-screening questionnaire where you can learn if you can donate cord blood. Before the actual donation, the mother would have to undergo a more detailed maternal health screening. Here is another article about the health requirements from our Foundation's newsletter.
Location requirement: Less than 200 hospitals in the United Sates have programs to accept cord blood donations, and they are all large birthing centers located in communities with racially diverse populations. Those parents who are not delivering at a hospital that accepts donations can try to register for a mail-in donation.
Timing requirement: Most donation programs require the mother to register in advance, typically by week 34 of the pregnancy (the due date is at 40 weeks). A few donation programs will sign up mothers during labor for permission to collect the cord blood, then if the collection qualifies for public banking they will go back to the mother before she leaves the hospital to get a full informed consent.