Every expectant parent faces hundreds of decisions in preparing for their baby’s arrival. Some are exciting and joyful, like creating a gift registry or picking nursery colors, and many are incredibly important in ways that could shape the course of their child’s life. Deciding what to do with your baby’s umbilical cord blood could be such a decision, but most parents are tragically under-informed. Since you deserve to make the best possible decisions for your baby, here is a primer that addresses important questions such as “What is cord blood?” “why is it important?” and “exactly what is cord blood banking anyway?”
What is Cord Blood?
The blood that remains in an infant’s placenta and umbilical cord following delivery is commonly referred to as “cord blood”. Even though cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, it is often discarded as medical waste due to lack of public awareness. But new parents in the know can request for their baby’s precious cord blood to be stored and preserved in a private cord blood bank for potentially lifesaving future use. That’s where cord blood banking companies like MiracleCord come in.
Why is Cord Blood Important?
The type of stem cells present in umbilical cord blood are the fundamental building blocks for the human body thanks to their incredible ability to transform into many types of specialized cells. Cord blood stem cells carry the unique advantage of being much more accessible than other types such as bone marrow stem cells. Stem cell transplants from banked cord blood have proven to be effective in the treatment of over 80 diseases and conditions including cancers, blood disorders, metabolic disorders, and many immune system disorders. These healing benefits apply to children receiving their own privately banked cells and also to their immediate family members.
What is Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood collection is safe, simple, and carries no health risk for the mother or baby. It will not interfere with delivery and is collected within 15 minutes of birth. It is subsequently processed and cryogenically frozen for long-term storage by a cord blood bank. All private cord blood banks such as MiracleCord charge a fee to store cord blood. Some offer prepaid discounts and payment plan options to help make cord blood storage a viable option for you and your family.
Is Cord Blood Donation an Option?
If you do not want to store your baby’s cord blood, public cord blood banking may be an option. You would need to check if your hospital is affiliated with a public cord blood bank. It should be noted that 80% of cord blood donation samples submitted to public cord blood banks are not stored, so should your family need cord blood stem cells for a life-saving treatment in the future, there is a high probability that your baby's cord blood will not be available.
Now that you know some of the fundamental facts, we hope that if someone asks you “what is cord blood banking?” you’ll confidently reply “a miracle.”
If you want to save your baby’s cord blood, be sure to research your cord blood banking options to find an experienced cord blood bank (such as MiracleCord) with AABB accredited laboratory facilities.
It is important to enroll well in advance of your expected due date so you won’t miss your opportunity to save your baby’s stem cells if the baby comes early.