Cord blood testing

Cord Blood Testing

Cord blood testing is a laboratory procedure used to collect and analyze the blood from a baby's umbilical cord and placenta. A cord blood test may help diagnose genetic disorders or be used as a screening test for certain medical conditions.


Before a cord blood test, your doctor may give you or your baby specific instructions, such as fasting for a certain amount of time before the test. The doctor may also give you instructions on how to collect the cord blood sample.


The health care professional will collect the cord blood sample by using a needle to withdraw the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta. Once the blood is collected, it will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Depending on the type of cord blood test, the doctor may order additional tests.


There are two types of cord blood tests:

  • Genetic Tests: These tests look for changes in the DNA sequence of the baby's cord blood sample that may be linked to a particular disease or condition.
  • Screening Tests: These tests are used to look for abnormal levels of substances, such as hormones or proteins, that may be linked to a medical condition.


Cord blood testing is a safe and painless procedure. In most cases, there are no risks associated with collecting the cord blood sample. Although rare, there is a small chance of infection or bleeding after the sample is collected.

Why Is It Done?

Cord blood testing is commonly used to diagnose genetic disorders or screen for certain medical conditions. It can also be used to determine a baby's blood type.

When Is It Done?

A cord blood test is typically done before a baby is discharged from the hospital. The health care professional may collect the sample using a needle that is inserted into the umbilical cord or placenta.