Why you should consider cord blood banking

19 Jul

When I was pregnant with Hannah, I’d heard a bit about banking cord blood, but didn’t know a thing about it. I asked at the hospital, but they didn’t have any information, nor did they do cord blood banking. Needless to say, we didn’t get her cord blood banked.

Is banking cord blood really worth while? Is it something you should do? Since I have no knowledge of the subject, here is a guest post written by Katie Green, and sponsored by CordBlood.com.

Cord blood banking involves the collection and retention of blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta when
a child is born. This cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are extremely useful in the treatment of a number
of human diseases, as they are able to evolve in to other types of cell.

There are a number of reasons why parents should seriously consider cord blood banking as a good option,
both for them and the child. Cord blood banking provides an opportunity to safeguard their child’s future by
retaining some healthy stem cells, which might be used to cure a number of life threatening conditions at
some point the child’s life. In addition, it may benefit other family members or other children in need, as the
cells can be used to treat anyone that is a genetic match. Donated cord blood is also being widely used in
medical research; scientists are currently investigating a number of incurable diseases, and whether core
blood may provide a cure or useful treatment.

Benefits of cord blood banking

Children who require stem cells as treatment for a serious illness often have to wait some time to receive
them, as there is often a limited supply in the public domain. However, if the child’s parents banked the cord
blood when the child was born, he or she can receive the prompt treatment that will provide the best chance
of recovering from the illness. Similarly, if a newborn has a sibling who already suffers from a condition that
is treatable with stem cells, cord blood banking can be invaluable in their treatment and could help to save
their life.

Core blood is now being used as an alternative to other more traditional sources of stem cells. The collection
of cells from other sources are often more invasive; for example bone marrow donation is very painful and
involves needles being stuck in to the center of the bone. However cord blood banking is completely painless
and does not harm or affect either the mother or the newborn. It makes use of valuable tissue that would
otherwise be discarded as medical waste.

How useful is cord blood banking

The stem cells found in cord blood are extremely useful. As they can develop to become other types of cells,
they can be used to repair body tissue, blood vessels, and organs. They are also used in the treatment of 70
types of blood disorders, cancers and other illnesses, including sickle cell anemia, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Recent studies are investigating how cord blood can be used to treat a wide range of other illnesses,
including heart disease and immune deficiencies.

Things you should know about cord blood banking

Parents should be aware that cord blood banking could help to save lives. Although a child has only a one
in 10,000 chance of needing a transplant of their own stem cells, the cells could be used to save someone
else’s life if donated to a public bank. Parents have the option to pay a fee to retain their child’s cord blood
privately, so that it is reserved specifically for them or other family members; or alternatively, they can donate
it to cord blood bank institutions for free, so that it can help others who are in need.

More information can be found on the internet, for example a stem cell treatment infographic.

Katie Green is a freelance writer who loves learning new things. She is currently interested in baby health issues and how they are being dealt with nowadays.

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4 Responses to “Why you should consider cord blood banking”

  1. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) July 19, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Never thought of using Cord Blood Banking – not even sure it was around or talked about when my boys were born! but if we were to have a baby (not that we are going to!) I so would look into it for the benefits are huge :)

    • Mommy Adventures July 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Yeah, I wish we thought about it more. We didn’t think about it at all with Daniel.

  2. Josh @ Live Well Simply July 20, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    I’d heard of cord blood banking before, but never realized it was such a big enterprise.

    • Mommy Adventures July 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      I’m surprised that hospitals don’t have programs to collect it for medical research or donation. Seems like such a wasted opportunity.

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