Health

Top Benefits of Cord Blood Banking

What if your baby was born with a blood disease or other condition that can be treated with stem cells? What would you do? We’re guessing you’d do whatever it takes to give your child the best possible chance at a healthy life, right? Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta. It can be banked and used for various medical purposes such as stem cell transplants, if necessary. If you have an upcoming delivery, you may want to consider the pros and cons of cord blood banking. This article outlines why that might help your child later in life, but it isn’t necessarily something everyone needs to do. Read on to learn more about this practice and whether or not it’s right for you.

Cord Blood Banking Basics

When you give birth, your child’s blood is collected in a bag. That blood is the cord blood. It’s rich in stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells that can become any type of cell in the body — like bone marrow, which is where our blood cells usually come from. The stem cells in cord blood can be used for transplants to treat a variety of diseases. Cord blood is also different from the blood that’s already in your child’s body. It’s been in your child’s circulatory system, but it hasn’t been exposed to any infection or illness. That makes it a valuable source of stem cells for future medical use — and that’s where cord blood banking comes in.

What is Cord Blood?

Cord blood is the blood that remains in your child’s umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It’s collected and frozen for future medical use. It’s rich in stem cells, which can be used to treat various diseases, like leukemia and sickle cell disease. If you bank your child’s cord blood, you’re ensuring they have the option to use it later in life. Cord blood is also different from the blood that’s already in your child’s body. It’s been in your child’s circulatory system, but it hasn’t been exposed to any infection or illness. That makes it a valuable source of stem cells for future medical use – and that’s where cord blood banking comes in.

Why Would You Bank Cord Blood?

Cord blood has a variety of uses. It can be used to treat leukemia and other types of cancer, replace bone marrow after a transplant, treat anemia, or be used for organ transplants. That said, not all doctors recommend banking cord blood. You should consider banking your child’s cord blood if you have an upcoming birth and a high risk of complications, or if they’re a boy. Boys are more likely to get certain blood diseases, like leukemia. Certain ethnicities, like Ashkenazi Jews, also run a higher risk of certain diseases. For example, if your child has a blood disorder like sickle cell disease, they may need a stem cell transplant. Cord blood can be used to treat this illness, but it’s a very complicated and expensive process. You may need to borrow cord blood from a public bank or use a friend or family member’s cord blood. A public bank probably won’t be able to treat your child’s specific illness. Your best bet is to bank your child’s own cord blood in advance.

Disadvantages of Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking is expensive. You have to pay for the initial collection, processing, and storage. Because it’s a lengthy process, you’ll have to start banking early in your pregnancy. Another drawback is that not all hospitals offer cord blood banking, and the ones that do may not have a contract with a company. You’ll have to do your own research and shop around. You may also have to pay for shipping to the lab. The process is lengthy and you’ll have to start it early in your pregnancy. If your child ends up needing the cord blood, they can use their own. You may want to consider saving the cord blood of your other children, especially if they’re at high risk of needing a stem cell transplant.

Advantages of Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking can help your newborn in a variety of ways. One is that it could be used to treat a genetic blood disorder like sickle cell anemia. Another is that it could treat leukemia, a common childhood cancer that can be fatal. Cord blood can also treat diseases like anemia and autoimmune disorders, like arthritis and lupus. The stem cells in cord blood can also be used for organ transplants. They’ve been used to treat a variety of different cancers and conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. If your child ends up needing the cord blood, they can use their own. You may want to consider saving the cord blood of your other children, especially if they’re at high risk of needing a stem cell transplant.

Final Thoughts

Cord blood banking offers many benefits, but it’s a difficult process. You have to start the process early and be prepared to pay thousands of dollars. In addition, not all hospitals offer cord blood banking, and the ones that do may not have a contract with a company. That said, cord blood banking could prove to be invaluable for your child.  Check out this list of blood banks for new mothers that we have compiled for your information.

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