Cord Blood Banking
As your pregnancy advances, you will likely have many things on your mind. Where should you give birth? What should you name your baby? Should you have a natural birth? Will you ever see your feet again? While you probably won't want to, consider adding one more question to your ever-growing list: should you bank your baby's umbilical cord blood?
You've likely overheard other moms-to-be talking about it. Or perhaps you've seen an advertisement for a cord blood bank in your pregnancy magazine. Maybe the idea of banking cord blood is completely new to you. Regardless of how you hear about it, deciding whether or not to bank your child's cord blood is an important choice that every parent needs to consider.
Why Make the Decision
Stem cells, a vitally important resource for helping cure many illnesses, like leukemia and other types of cancer, are contained within umbilical cord blood. Over the last decade, scientists have discovered how to collect, store and retrieve these stem cells when they are needed for treatments. Because it is much easier to collect stem cells from umbilical cord blood than it is to collect it from adult bone marrow, many parents have decided to store their child's umbilical cord blood to help insure a healthy future for their child.
How the Stem Cells are Collected
As with all births, the umbilical cord is cut almost immediately after you deliver the baby. However, before the umbilical cord is thrown away, a doctor or nurse will drain all the blood from the cord into a bag or put it in vials. At no point will this procedure interfere with the level of care you and your child will receive. The collection process will also not harm your baby in any way.
Once the blood has been collected, it is sent off to the cord blood bank that you have selected where it will be tested and then stored until you need it.
Should You Bank Blood?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to banking umbilical cord blood. Each family needs to decide what is right for them. For those families that have a history of certain diseases, banking your child's cord blood will mean that a treatment is immediately available to your child if he or she becomes sick. Even if your family does not have a history of certain cancers and other disorders, banking your child's cord blood can help provide your family with some insurance that they will always be healthy.
Visit Cord Blood to learn more about cord blood banking and take the time to discuss the issue with your partner. It may just save a life.