Advantages to Using a Cord Blood Bank

Congratulations!  If you are about to have a baby, this is a very exciting time in your life.  There are certainly many things to consider as you approach parenthood for the first time (or the second or third, etc) and many choices to make.  One of these decisions is about an interesting and innovative technology - cord blood banking. 

This isn't a decision that you can make in the delivery room.  You have to plan ahead, decide on a cord blood bank, and have a kit prepared and ready to go at delivery. For this reason, you'll want to have done research about cord blood banking and understand the positive and negative reasons to be part of this process.  Here we'll explore the positive implications of storing cord blood.

Why Store Cord Blood?

There are many positive reasons to store cord blood for your baby.  The number one reason to store a newborn's cord blood is if there is a close family member or child with a family medical history of disease.  This would include diseases that can be treated and helped with a bone marrow transplant.  The blood found in the placenta and umbilical cord can aid a family member who needs stem cells in case of a bone marrow transplant.  These would include such diseases as leukemia, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and immune deficiencies of many kinds.

A Good Investment

Parents who choose to store their baby's cord blood look at it as an insurance plan.  When you buy homeowner's insurance or car insurance, you certainly hope that you won't ever have to use it.  You pay this money up front as insurance against future issues or problems.  Cord blood banking is very similar.  The procedure is completely non-invasive to the mother or baby, as the blood is taken from the umbilical cord after delivery.  The procedure takes only a few minutes and the cord blood is stored in a lab.  The family will not have to give one second of thought to the cord blood once it is taken. 

However, should someone in the family become sick and need a bone marrow transplant, the family feels that they have invested wisely and can draw on their stored supply of stem cells.  Storing cord blood becomes an insurance plan for your newborn or other family members, should you ever need to use it.

Peace of Mind and Future Hope

This peace of mind is very important to many people and is the main reason that cord blood banking has increased in popularity since its inception in the 1970s.  In addition, while cord blood is primarily used for bone marrow transplants, there is always the hope that new research will allow it to be used to cure even more diseases and problems.  Storing stem cells now allows the family to be part of future discoveries and cures, should they become available.

These are many of the advantages today for cord blood banking.  There are certainly disadvantages as well that should be considered before any decision is made.  Learn more about cord blood banking and make an educated decision that will benefit you and your growing family.

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