The birth of a child is the time which is one of the most remembered things by all of us, the parents. It is the time when you are eagerly waiting to see your baby and to welcome him/her to your world. You were wanting for a long time to see your baby and the birth time is all that you were waiting for patiently or impatiently. But the birth time of your baby also gives you once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the future health of your baby as well as the health of your family. It is the time to secure cord blood of your baby to preserve the same for future potential medical usage for your family. Various serious illnesses can be treated by using the stem cells which are available in the baby’s cord blood.
So, what is cord blood or stem cells?
When a baby takes birth, he/she is attached with the placenta through which the baby was getting all the nutrition or motherly fluids in the womb. This is the natural means of letting the baby grow inside and get all the life’s vitals inside mother’s womb. And upon birth, this placenta is detached or separated from the baby. Earlier, this placenta was deemed to be waste but with the advancements in the life sciences domain, there had been evidences that the blood contained in this placenta and cord can be used as an alternative to bone marrow.
With further advancements, it has been established that the stem cells present in the cord blood may be transplanted in the baby or either of the family member in case of any medical condition. The transplantation of these stem cells regenerate and re-vitalises the immunity and helps in curing general to serious illnesses including certain types of cancers.
How Cord Blood Banking Works?
To bank or secure cord blood of the baby, you need to get in touch with the companies providing the cord blood banking well in advance. They will need to know the expected date of delivery and will sign a cord blood banking agreement with you. The mentioned agreement will mention as to who will be able to use the stem cells of the preserved cord blood and in what conditions. What would be the circumstances where a stem cells transplantation is done. All the responsibilities of the cord blood banking company and the rights of the family are mentioned therein.
As the day of delivery comes, the medical person from that company will arrive and take the cord blood with the help of doctors engaged in the delivery. Be informed that the cord blood is collected at the time of birth (exact) not later and needs to be sent to the cord blood banking company’s medical facility within 24 hours to protect the potency of the stem cells to be preserved from the collected cord blood. Collecting cord blood is a painless process either to baby or to the mother.
Types of Cord Blood Banks:
There are two types of banking which you may consider for preserving your baby’s cord blood.
Private Cord Blood Banking:
In this type of banking, the preserved cord blood or stem cells rather will be for the exclusive usage of the baby and family members only.
Public or Community Based Cord Blood Banking:
In this type, besides you and your family, the members of community will also be eligible to use the baby’s cord blood on a match basis. And if you need the same, you will also be eligible to share stem cells of others on a successful match.
Why Cord Blood Banking is Important?
The stem cells can treat many general to serious illnesses including certain type of cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, anemia and genetic disorders. The stem cells transplantation helps re-generate the immunity power in the body. The stem cells have been successful in treating various cognitive disorders as well.
Cord Blood Banking – ACOG. [online] Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Cord-Blood-Banking
Roura et al. (2015). The role and potential of umbilical cord blood in an era of new therapies: a review. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 6(123), p. 10-12.
Shearer WT, e. (2018). Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29084832
Waller-Wise, R. (2011). Umbilical Cord Blood: Information for Childbirth Educators. The Journal of Perinatal Education, 20(1), 54–60. http://doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.20.1.54