If you have ever tried to gather information on cord blood banking, we can say with certainty that you’ve probably been overwhelmed with the information and opinions.
Daddy’s Digest is giving you a quick look at the ‘what’ and ‘how’.
1. The cord that connects the baby to the mother (in the womb) is known as the umbilical cord. It used to be discarded at birth but it's storage is now widely marketed as “biological insurance".
2. The umbilical cord fluid is filled with stem cells. Unlike other cells, stem cells have the ability to make other type of cells and may also be able to renew themselves. These properties make them valuable and parents can now store them in cord blood banks for the future health of their child or other family members.
3. Stem cells can treat cancer, blood diseases and immune system disorders.
4. The cord contains up to ten times more stems cells than bone marrow, making the stem cells easier to access in the future if stored at birth. They also very rarely carry infectious diseases.
5. To collect the blood, the delivering doctor will cut the cord and separate the mother from the baby. A needle is then inserted into the cord and a minimum of 40ML of blood is collected. The collection is then sealed and sent to the cord blood bank for testing and storage.
6. The process is quick and painless for both the baby and the mother.
7. There are public and private cord blood banks. The public banks accept cord blood donations for research and make it available to anyone in need. The private banks are expensive and charge for processing and storage. The stored blood is then accessible exclusively by the donor and their family.
8. There are many conflicting opinions on whether or not you should store your child’s cord blood. Studies cite low 'storage to actual use' ratios and research shows that the cord blood can't always be used.
9. Just remember, if you are considering it, don’t make it a last-minute decision. A lot can go wrong in the collection process and you will need time to coordinate with the cord blood bank and the delivering doctor, ahead of time.
While we have put together this awesome summary for you, it is important to always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child and their health.
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