Cord Blood Banking
Storing your baby's umbilical cord blood can be one of the most important decisions that you ever make. Cord blood banking can help to protect you and your family from a host of medical conditions and diseases. In fact, your baby's cord blood may even save another family member's life. So take some time to investigate your options and the benefits of cord blood banking.
What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the special blood that is contained within your baby's umbilical cord throughout your pregnancy. The umbilical cord contains blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to your baby, helping him to grow and develop. The umbilical cord blood also contains special cells that help to create organs, tissue, and other parts of your body. These special cells are called stem cells.
Why Collect Cord Blood?
Cord blood may easily be collected after your baby's birth directly from the umbilical cord. This painless procedure can provide your family with a rich source of umbilical cord stem cells that you can access at any time. If a you already have a child who is in need of a stem cell transplant, then you may want to consider banking with a storage facility.
Some programs allow families in need to collect and store a child's umbilical cord blood free of charge. Some will even ship your newborns cord blood stem cells to a transplant facility at no cost to you.
Advantages of Storing Cord Blood
Stem cells have been found to be highly beneficial in curing a variety of life-threatening diseases. Stem cells, like the ones found in your baby's umbilical cord blood, are unspecialized, meaning that they don't perform a particular purpose. However, when stem cells are placed inside the body, they have the ability to regenerate and create specialized cells. Stem cells can become heart cells, muscle cells, nerve cells, and even blood cells. Stem cells can also fight off diseased cells in the body, which are often the result of fatal diseases.
There are numerous benefits to collecting umbilical cord blood that you should take into consideration:
- stem cells can treat over 45 diseases, including blood disorders, cancers, and immune deficiencies
- bone marrow donors can be difficult to find whereas cord blood is easily collectable and always available for your use
- cord blood stem cells can work without being exactly matched, unlike bone marrow stem cells
- cord blood research shows that umbilical blood contains 10 times more stem cells than that contained in bone marrow
- cord blood stem cells pose less risk for Graft vs Host Disease, a disease in which the body attacks new cells
- cord blood can be easily stored for up to 20 years
How is Cord Blood Collected
Cord blood collection is very easy and will cause no pain to you or your newborn. Immediately after birth, your health care practitioner will collect the cord blood. Using a needle, the blood will be removed from the umbilical cord and either stored in the needle or in a blood bag. The cord blood is then immediately sent to a facility that will process and preserve the stem cells. Once the stem cells are preserved, they can be kept frozen for up to 20 years. Cord blood storage is safe and reliable and allows you access to your stem cells whenever you may need them.
Deciding to collect and store your baby's cord blood can be a big decision, but there are numerous benefits to the procedure. To find out more about umbilical cord blood banking please visit Cord Blood Banking and fill out the form for your free info kit.