Cord blood donation process

Cord blood is the least invasive method of donating stem cells. It does not interfere with the normal process of the delivery of your baby. Cord blood collection begins after the safe arrival of a healthy baby. The process is safe, painless, poses minimal risk to the mother and baby.

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Step 1

Get informed. Review our cord blood information kit online and talk to your healthcare provider about donating cord blood.  

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Step 2

Complete your registration. You can register online or download the forms from our website to register. Online registration is currently available in English and French. Downloadable registration information and forms are also available in English, French, Punjabi and Chinese. If you need translation services in other languages, please email us at for assistance.   

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Step 3

Consent to donate. If you registered online, your consent to donate cord blood is submitted electronically. If you downloaded a form to register, please give your healthcare provider your completed form (with signed consent) during one of your prenatal visits, or bring it with you to your delivery. 

Remember to inform your delivery team of your wish to donate cord blood when you arrive at the hospital.

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Step 4

Collecting cord blood. Your baby’s cord blood will be collected by Canadian Blood Services’ cord blood bank staff via the ex utero method (after your placenta/umbilical cord are delivered). It is collected from the umbilical cord using a sterile needle and bag in our designated room on the birthing unit. We are not present during delivery.

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Step 5

Final step. If your cord blood unit qualifies, a nurse will visit you to collect additional information before you leave the hospital. This includes 

  • A second consent 
  • Blood work and   
  • A questionnaire.   

Your consent and blood test must be received before you are discharged from the hospital otherwise the cord blood collected will be discarded. There is no blood test taken from your baby.  

Learn more about what happens after your cord blood donation and sample donation questionnaires.