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How Your Baby Benefits From Cord Blood Banking

Every expectant mother wants whats best for her baby, and besides planning for the arrival of a new family member in all the usual ways, such as preparing the nursery, purchasing equipment and assembling babys layette, there are other important considerations to be borne in mind – for example, providing extra protection for the future. Making financial provision is an obvious example, however less obvious is the process of harvesting cord blood at the time of birth for use in the future should it ever be required.

Like good financial planning, cord blood collection needs a little bit of advance planning if parents are to take full advantage of the many important medical benefits the process can provide. With private cord blood banking a fee is applicable, however public cord blood banking carries no charges.

How it works

umbilical Cord BloodAt the time of birth, blood is collected from the babys umbilical cord and from the placenta; it is then stored for medical use if required in the future. This is a completely pain-free procedure and at no time is either mother or baby in any danger whatsoever. Also, partners can still cut the umbilical cord if they so wish.

Once the umbilical cord has been safely clamped and cut, typically between three and five ounces of the blood is extracted by syringe from the section near the placenta. The cord blood is shipped to a treatment center where it is tested, processed and then frozen; the cord blood banks aim to store only good quality samples, as cord blood contains vital stem cells that can be lifesavers in certain illnesses.

Banking cord blood for baby’s future protection

Although parents don’t like to think of it at the time they are celebrating the birth of their baby, it’s a hard fact that there are certain diseases that attack babies and children with distressing and sometimes fatal consequences. These include leukemia and other childhood cancers, cerebral palsy, juvenile (type 1) diabetes and pediatric brain injury.

If a baby’s cord blood is stored, treatment using cord blood stem cells is ideal for some, but not all, of these conditions as they help the body to repair itself. Cancers are extremely problematic, and in many cases a cancer-free sibling’s cord blood is the preferred choice, as it does not contain the capacity to develop cancer. For this reason some parents choose to pay and use a private cord blood bank, knowing they will then have access to family (genetically matching) stem cells.

Why cord blood is invaluable

Stem cells, which are found in cord blood, are crucial elements in a person’s immune system. They have the capacity to grow and change into other types of cells, so they are suitable for repairing organs, tissues and blood vessels.  In addition, research is beginning to demonstrate their usefulness in treating conditions in adults such as stroke, heart failure, spinal cord injuries and diabetes. There is also considerable hope that in the future they will make a significant contribution towards combating multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders. In essence, collecting cord blood is an effective way of storing up a medical resource for the future.

 

2 Comments

  1. shelly peterson on July 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I really wished I could have done this when I had my kids. But I couldn’t afford it



  2. Eileen on July 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my gosh, I have of course heard of this but have never read any information about it. My youngest is 12 and it was not a much discussed option way back then. I had only heard of the use of cord blood for leukemia, not knowing that it can be used for juvenile diabetes or cp? That is amazing! I will definitely pick up where this article leaves off and do more research. Although very interesting just to KNOW, we all have a vested interest in this as our kids are now having kids and we would love to keep up on what is best for our grandkids. I have heard it is very expensive but really, can you put a price tag on good health…or even life and death at some point? I don’t know anyone in our family who has done this yet…and we have a GiNORMOUS family. We did have two teeny tiny babies born in our family in the past 2 years…one a neice and one our grandson. We anticipated a scary outcome with some physical or medical problem being born under 2 lbs, but so far so good. But…it made us much more aware of medical technology out there, and if something like this is available, it is nothing to take lightly. We all need to be more informed, so thank you SOOOoooo much for this post!