The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) had published advice for obstetricians, midwives and other healthcare practitioners on umbilical cord blood banking and storage in 2001, but new legislation, such as the Human Tissue Act and the EU Tissue and Cells Directive, have introduced changes.

For this reason RCOG has updated its advice on the said issue.

RCOG has confirmed their opinion that there is no compelling reason for low risk families to bank their baby’s umbilical cord blood. Currently, families at a high risk, for example of passing a genetic condition to their child, can bank cord blood for the future use of a family member at an established public sector cord blood bank, such as the NHS Cord Blood Bank or the Anthony Nolan Trust.

These public banks also will take donations not directed for use by a particular family and provide material for transplants as required. But increasingly private companies have approached families to bank their baby’s cord blood ‘just in case’ there is a need in the future.