Pregnancy is a complex process that involves a lot of planning, organizing, and thinking in advance. With so many things on parents’ minds, deciding if you should preserve cord blood after birth is probably not at the top of the list. Some parents may not even be familiar with the term and are wondering what it means.
Whether you’re new to cord blood banking or you knew about it but have never given it proper thought, it’s a decision that could potentially save a life one day. As such, it is definitely worth considering before delivery. With that in mind, we’ve created a parents’ guide to family cord blood banking. It will help familiarize you with the term and give you all the essential information you need to better understand the cord blood banking procedure.
What is cord blood?
Just like creating a birth plan and preparing for labor and delivery, deciding whether cord blood banking is something you want to do is one of the things you’ll need to consider well in advance. Before you can do that, it’s important that you understand what cord blood is. Essentially, cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord as well as the placenta after birth.
What makes cord blood valuable in the medical sense is the fact that it’s a rich source of stem cells. It also contains an abundance of immune system cells that also have their medical uses. Both newborn stem cells and immune cells have exceptional regenerative properties. As such, they are effective in replacing and repairing other cells.
What is cord blood banking?
When it comes to the cord blood banking procedure, it essentially involves the collection and preservation of cord blood. The blood from the umbilical cord is collected post-delivery, immediately after giving birth. After collecting it, the cord blood is then stored and preserved for potential future use.
When it comes to cord blood storage, parents have two options to choose from. The first option is to donate the cord blood to the public cord blood bank. The donated cord blood will then be used either for research purposes or to help others. Choosing to donate the blood is free of charge, and the blood will be accessible to anyone who is compatible. Parents also have the option to use a private cord blood bank to store the potentially life-saving stem cells. Private banks will ensure immediate access to cord blood when and if the need arises. Although the latter option requires paying a bit extra, it’ll guarantee exclusive access to cord blood to your family only.
Why do I need to preserve cord blood?
This is one of the health questions parents are asking the most nowadays – and for good reason. Parents want to protect their children, and they’ll do everything in their power to prevent any bad things from happening to their little ones. Sometimes, ensuring a healthy future for them will be a matter of taking preventative measures to avoid these difficult situations.
Preserving cord blood means preserving a valuable source of stem cells that could be used for health treatment of your child when needed. When the cord blood is collected and stored properly, it can benefit not only your child but the whole family. Stem cells are also easier to collect from cord blood than bone marrow, which also contains stem cells. They also take less time to process, and there’s a higher chance of finding patient matches and a successful transplantation.
What are the benefits of cord blood banking?
Although typically discarded after birth, cord blood can be of immense help when it comes to treating various illnesses. There are over 80 diseases and life-threatening conditions that can be treated with the stem cells from the cord blood. These include blood disorders, anemia, cancers, leukemia, solid tumors, genetic diseases, as well as metabolic diseases that are inherited.
Whether you’re a first time mom and dad or are preparing to become parents for the second, third, or fifth time, cord blood banking is definitely something to consider. Since there’s a high probability of parents and siblings being a match, the entire family can potentially benefit from the banked cord blood, including extended family members.
Although it may seem too early, pregnancy is the right time to start thinking about your child’s future health. As expectant parents, taking steps to secure a bright and healthy future for your little one should be your top priority, and choosing to bank the umbilical cord blood could be the step in the right direction.
About The Author
Taylor Parker is an American based writer and blogger. She is very passionate about family, fashion, health and lifestyle. Taylor writes mostly lifestyle articles, but also you’ll find her in home improvement and other niches.