A few years ago, most new parents had never heard of cord blood banking. Now, many new mothers in the United States are taking advantage of this option. Mothers who choose to bank their baby’s umbilical cord blood are making an important investment towards their child’s future good health since many cancers, blood disorders, metabolic conditions, and immune system deficiencies can now be treated with the stem cells found in cord blood.
What is cord blood donation?
Cord blood donation is a relatively simple process that takes place at the time of birth. Immediately after delivery, while medical personnel are taking care of both mother and baby, a cord blood collection team will drain the blood from the umbilical cord and sometimes, the placenta as well. This process is completely pain-free for both mother and baby. Donated blood will be thoroughly tested. Afterwards, stem cells will be collected from the cord blood so that can be frozen for future use.
What’s so special about cord blood stem cells?
The stem cells in cord blood are important for medical treatment and research because they have the unique ability to transform themselves into many specialized types of cells. They are particularly good at developing into cells that are vital for the proper functioning of the blood and immune systems. Stem cells can thus replace damaged cells, making them invaluable in the treatment of over 80 different conditions.
Stem cells have another profound advantage. Because they are able to transform themselves, they are able to match a wider range of tissue types; this makes rejection less likely. When patients are treated with bone marrow or standard blood cells, tissue typing can be a limiting factor. The use of stem cells instead lifts some of these limits.
When a child is treated with his or her own stem cells saved at the time of birth, rejection becomes extremely unlikely. This is because the body will accept the stem cells as native material.
What about other kinds of stem cells?
A final advantage of cord blood stem cells is that they are collected in advance. This means that they are immediately available when needed.
Why parents should consider cord blood banking
All new mothers hope that their baby will always enjoy perfect health. Cord blood banking is a form of preparing just in case a serious medical condition should develop. It serves as a form of insurance, giving mothers the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have done their absolute best for their child.
Those considering a donation should consider looking over cord blood banking reviews so that they can choose the agency with the most experience and expertise when it comes to collecting and preserving this valuable life-saving resource.