Everything You Need To Know About Banking Your Baby’s Cord Blood

Everything You Need To Know About Banking Your Baby’s Cord Blood
Cord blood banking is one of the best options available for protecting your child and his or her siblings from disease. By storing your child’s umbilical cord blood, you are preserving their stem cells in the event they need to be used in the future. But what exactly is cord blood banking, and why should you consider having your children’s stem cells stored?

Why cord blood?

The blood found in a newborn’s umbilical cord contains valuable stem cells. These stem cells are different from embryonic stem cells because they are collected after the baby is born in a quick and painless procedure. If not collected, the blood and umbilical cord are typically discarded, as once the cord has been cut, it is no longer needed. Since umbilical cord stem cells have the potential to treat up to 80 life-threatening diseases, cord blood and cord tissue storage is often compared to purchasing an insurance policy. While parents may hope their child or another relative will never need a stem cell transplant, they are prepared in the event that they do.

What makes cord blood so important?

Umbilical cord blood is one of the easiest and safest ways to obtain crucial stem cells. Stem cells can help repair a number of issues in the blood and immune system, essentially acting as a building block that can be utilized in variety of ways. Since these cells can transform into different types of cells within the body, they can be used to repair organs, blood vessels and tissues, as well as a growing list of diseases.

Stem cells aren’t exclusively found in the umbilical cord; they are also found in bone marrow, hair follicles and baby teeth. Unlike bone marrow stem cells, however, umbilical cord stem cells are easy to extract and do not require a lengthy or painful procedure. This is why the umbilical cord is frequently considered the top source of stem cells.

When someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, chemotherapy is used to clear the body of harmful diseased cells. Once this is done, umbilical cord blood is transplanted into the body to create new blood and enhance the immune system.

Which diseases can umbilical cord blood treat?

With over 80 life-threatening diseases that can be treated with cord blood, and more conditions being added to that list regularly, umbilical cord blood is quickly becoming a valuable resource for disease treatment. Here are just a few of the many diseases that can be treated by umbilical cord blood:

  • Acute Leukemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Hurler Syndrome
  • Krabbe Disease
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Sickle Cell Disease

Which disorders may be treated in the future?

Cord blood is constantly being tested in hopes of finding a cure to new diseases. Medicine continues to evolve and cures are being found on a daily basis for diseases that were thought to be untreatable just a few years ago. The following disorders could be cured in the near future thanks to cord blood banking:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Heart Defects
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Type 1 Diabetes

Is stored cord blood a match for everyone in my family?

Your child’s umbilical cord stem cells will always be a 100 percent match for him or her, but they may also be a match for a sibling or other family member as well. If one of your other children contracts a life-threatening disease, for example, the cord blood stored will have a 50% chance of being a perfect match and a 25% chance of being a partial match.

Write By: BabymallPublished In: Parenting TipsCreated Date: 2015-10-01


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