African-Americans, Hispanics and other non-Caucasians are urged to donate cord blood to public banks because non-Caucasians have a harder time finding a donor match.
If you opt to donate your baby's cord blood, contact a public blood bank by the 34th week of your pregnancy. You will fill out a questionnaire similar to one you receive when donating blood. The questionnaire will ask about your pregnancy and medical history. You'll also be required to sign a consent form. Cord-blood donations are collected in about 70 hospitals in the United States, and there are approximately 27 public cord-blood banks, 18 of which are networked with NMDP.
Visit www.fitpregnancy.com/hospitals to find out if there is a participating hospital in your area. To learn more about cord-blood donation and whether there is a public cord-blood bank near you, contact NMDP at 800-627-7692 or www.marrow.org.