I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Cord Blood Registry. I received promotional item to thank me for my participation.
After I found out I was pregnant with Kayleigh, and had signed up for various “free baby items” on several different websites, I received a few flyers in the mail for cord blood banking services.
I had heard about cord blood banking in the past, but I didn’t really know much about it, except that it could possibly help Kayleigh during an illness at some point in her lifetime, and that it was expensive. Not really having a lot of money, I didn’t bother to do any more research into the matter. I did always think in the back of my mind that it would be a really great thing to do though. Alas, Kayleigh’s birth came and went, and so did her cord blood.
I think a lot of parents-to-be either have never heard of cord blood banking, or don’t know a lot about it. Since there is only one opportunity to bank a child’s umbilical cord blood, in the moments following their birth, it is so very important to be informed and prepared ahead of time. I really wish I had done more research, and not just let that once in a lifetime opportunity slip by me.
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth and after the cord is cut. It is collected immediately after birth and the collection is painless, easy and safe for the mother and infant, and stored for future use. Families have the option of storing a section of the umbilical cord as well, which is rich in different kinds of stem cells than those found in the cord blood itself.
Where is the cord blood stored?
Cord Blood Registry is the world’s largest family umbilical cord blood & tissue bank. The company’s laboratory and storage facility in Tucson, Ariz., is the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world. They have invested millions of dollars to help ensure the safety of its clients’ stem cells. This secure facility is strengthened by bullet resistant glass and has a floor load capacity that can hold 800,000 pounds (16x the standard requirements), a back-up liquid nitrogen tank the size of a 747 jet, one of the largest backup generators available, and temperature monitoring every 1.6 seconds.
Cord Blood Registry has stored more than 500,000 cord blood and tissue stem cell units! Impressive, huh?!
What are the benefits of cord blood banking?
Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, considered to be the master cells of the body. Newborn stem cells can trigger natural repair processes in the body by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to injured or diseased areas. They can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and other tissues. Cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of more than 80 conditions and are currently being evaluated in FDA-regulated clinical trials for their potential regenerative ability in common health issues including autism, cerebral palsy, pediatric stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
What options are there for cord blood banking?
The primary options for cord blood banking are to store your stem cells with a family bank or to donate to a public bank.
- Family banking offers parents storage for cord blood stem cells for the family’s exclusive use. This typically includes a one-time processing fee and annual storage fees but gives parents access to these stem cells if needed. Free family banking is available through Cord Blood Registry for families with a medical need. Investigate your options for family banking as not all cord blood banks store cord blood in the same manner or offer the same services.
- Public donation lets parents donate stem cells at no cost to possibly help someone in need. While you may be able to access your donation if you need it, there is no guarantee that your donation will be available to you.
I had absolutely no idea that you could make a public donation of your baby’s cord blood at no cost. If I had known this, I probably would have jumped at the chance. Even if the cord blood had not been available for Kayleigh, if it saved the life of another child, it would have been completely worth it. Just think of how many children could be saved from terminal illnesses if everyone donated their baby’s cord blood!
If you are interested in cord blood banking, visit www.cordblood.com for more information, and be sure to talk to your physician or childbirth educator. They will help you sort through your options and will also work with you to ensure you have what is needed at the time of delivery for a smooth collection.
Would you ever consider cord blood banking? Would you make a public donation of your baby’s cord blood?