If you are pregnant, you probably have received information about cord blood banking. This is an opportunity for you to bank your child’s umbilical cord blood. When cord blood is banked, it is stored so that at a later time, it can be used when needed. There are several key reasons why anyone should consider cord blood banking.
Cord blood contains very important cells that can help to grow a healthy immune system for someone who has fallen ill. Not only can this cord blood be used for your child, but for others that have the same type of blood and tissue. Although cord blood banking is expensive when done privately, it can be life saving and this is often the reason to consider it.
Cord blood stem cells can be used to treat diseases and conditions such as leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, anemia, sickle cell disease, inherited red cell abnormality, lymphoma, plasma cell disorder, neuroblastoma and myeloma. Today, there are over 75 different diseases, immune deficiencies and other conditions that are treated with cord blood successfully. With the advancement of stem cell research, there is likely to be more uses for cord blood in the future.
If there is a family medical history or your child has a predisposition to any of these diseases, you should seriously consider cord blood banking. Parents of children of ethnic or racial minorities and children conceived through in vitro fetilization are encouraged to bank cord blood as it is more difficult to find bone marrow match in these cases. Only 50% of people that need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant are likely to find a suitable donor to provide it.
There are two ways to store your baby’s cord blood. If you choose public cord blood banking, your baby’s blood is taken from the umbilical cord, stored cryogenically and can be used by anyone that is in need of it. However, cord blood that is stored in a private bank can only be used for your child or other family members when required.
The cord blood banking process can be costly for a private storage facility, starting at $2000 but the protection that it offers far outweighs the costs. In addition, many families find that this is an ideal way to protect the child as well as other family members from potentially fatal diseases or conditions. The ongoing stem cell research for treatment of diseases is promising. Cord blood stem cells offer great potential for treating more auto-immune and degenerative diseases. Banking cord blood can provide medical insurance for your child or other family members now and in the future.
There are still not enough cord blood donations taking place that will provide for the necessary help needed to cure conditions like cancer and leukemia. Yet, with more people considering cord blood banking, whether privately or publicly, it is likely that more miracles can happen. Through better education, more parents will see the true benefits of cord blood banking.