September 22, 2011
Mothers and babies are being put at risk by the craze for collecting blood from the umbilical cord to protect against future illnesses, doctors and midwives warn.
Thousands of women have the blood extracted minutes after giving birth. The blood, which contains stem cells, is then stored to be used to treat the child should they ever develop leukaemia or another life-threatening disease.
But according to the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the procedure ‘distracts’ midwives at a very risky time during births.
In their latest guidance, they say that midwives should be devoting their attention to checking the newborn is properly breathing and the mother is not bleeding heavily – rather than trying to extract blood from the umbilical cord.