There’s a lot to think about and get ready for when you’re expecting a baby. Aside from decorating the nursery and washing all those new tiny onesies, you might have been asked if you plan to save your newborn’s umbilical cord blood. Parents choose to do that with the intent to keep the baby or a family member safe and healthy.
Blood from the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells, which can transform into just about any human cell. That means the stem cells in the cord blood could be used to treat certain diseases whenever it’s needed. Banking cord blood is a way of preserving potentially life-saving cells that usually get thrown away after birth.
Here are a few facts about Cord Blood to consider:
1. Saving your baby’s blood is harmless and painless to both mother and baby.
Like with any birth, the umbilical cord is clamped immediately after delivery and the baby is separated from the cord. Then a needle attached to a collection bag is inserted into the vein of the umbilical cord and the blood flows into the collection bag.
2. Your baby is a 100% match to his or her own stem cells, and they may be a match for a sibling or family member.
Stem cells from bone marrow and blood exist in all healthy adults, but cord blood stem cells are much easier to match because the immune cells are not developed.
3. Saving your baby’s cord blood gives you access to medical options and hope.
Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most fascinating and revolutionary areas of medicine.
4. Cord blood stem cells have been able to rebuild red and white blood cells, nerves and bone cartilage.
Stem cells found in cord blood are important precursors to a person’s fully functioning immune system. Stem cell therapy also has potential to treat bones, the nervous system, and joints after an illness or injury.
5. Cord blood has treated more than 80 diseases.
Patients with cancer, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies have received the benefits of cord blood stem cells. As stem cell therapies continue to evolve, more conditions will be added to the list of successful treatments.
6. There is only one chance to collect and save cord blood: at birth.
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