Step-Parenting

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

You may have heard of cord blood banking but… what is it? Whether you are expecting or simply researching we hope this blog can fill you in on what cord blood banking is.

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

What is cord blood?

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

So right off the bat, we will clarify what cord blood is. It might be obvious but cord blood comes from the umbilical cord. It is the blood left over in the cord and placenta once the umbilical cord has been cut and the placenta delivered. This blood can be collected and stored.

Why would you want to do that you may wonder? Well, cord blood is a rich source of stem cells.

What are cord blood stem cells?

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

Stem cells are very unique. Frequently people talk about the other two types of stem cells, namely embryonic stem cells and bone marrow stem cells being used in science and medicine. Cord blood stem cells can also be used in research and treatment.

Stem cells are used in the treatment of over 80 conditions worldwide including things like leukaemia and anaemia among many others.

Embryonic stem cells come with some ethical issues and collecting bone marrow stem cells for transplants is an invasive procedure. Cord blood stem cells are collected from the leftover cord and placenta which is a completely non-invasive procedure.

How are these stem cells stored?

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

There are two ways you can store the umbilical cord stem cells.

Public Donation:

This is a free service but it is only available at a handful of hospitals across the UK. If you choose to donate the cord blood will be stored in a public bank that can be used by anyone waiting on the donation list.

Private Storage:

This service does cost money however it provides your family with a lifelong safety net. Your child will have immediate access to a 100% genetic match should then need treatment. The rest of the family could benefit too as siblings also have a chance of being at least a partial match to each other.

Your choices

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

The choice to store, publicly or privately, is entirely up to you. Each has its benefits and of course, these precious stem cells would go to good use (they are otherwise thrown away as medical waste). As with anything in life do your due diligence and read up on the topic so you can truly see how beneficial it might be, but we hope this brief overview has given you a good starting point.

What is Cord Blood Banking and Why is it Important?

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