Why should I bank my baby’s cord blood? How is it collected? What can it be used for? Questions you may find yourself asking. Hopefully, you’ll find the answers here.
Why bank cord blood?
Banking cord blood is less about the blood and more about the precious stem cells that it contains. These umbilical cord stem cells can only be stored once in a lifetime – in the moment after your child is born.
To clear something up very quickly, umbilical cord blood is the blood left over in the cord after it has been cut. Whatever is left, even a small volume, has stem cells in it. This blood can be collected, processed, and stored, rather than being thrown away as medical waste
How is cord blood collected?
As a side note – cord blood collection is a non-invasive procedure that will not interfere with other parts of your birth plan. Even if you choose delayed or optimal cord clamping, you can still store the cells. In short a phlebotomist (either your own or one that is provided for you) will take the placenta in and cord into a separate room and use a specially designed collection kit.
What is the cord blood used for?
As previously mentioned, cord blood stem cells can be used in medical therapies and treatments.
There are over 80 conditions that stem cells can currently treat. These include:
- Metabolic diseases like Hurler Syndrome and Krabbe Disease
- Blood cancers like Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma
- Solid tumours
- Immune Disorders
- Blood disorders like various types of Anaemia
There is also plenty of research being done into the further potentially of these magical cells. So far among all the clinical trial research things like…
- Lung disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain injury
And more. These conditions could potentially be treated or improved using stem cells.
Cord Blood Banking Benefits
The benefits of storing cord blood are slightly different depending on whether you store publicly or privately. Universally though, these stem cells can be used for a variety of medical treatments and therapies.
If you go public (or more accurately donate your cord blood stem cells) your stem cells will be used by anyone waiting on the donation list. Your sample could be a close enough match genetically to someone else so that they can receive treatment. This is a free service too.
If you store with a private company for your child, they – and their family – will have access to a lifelong safety net. Should your child get ill, they can access a 100% genetic match and their siblings will have a 25% chance of being a full match and a 75% chance of being a partial match. This option does cost money but it gives you more options, if stem cells are ever needed for treatment.
Request a Welcome Pack
Find out more about cord blood banking by downloading a Welcome Pack now.