Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you prepare for this very exciting new phase in your life, you will definitely do anything to protect your little one and keep him healthy and happy after he is born.
This is why months before the birth of your baby, you child-proof your home and spend hours of research on the safest car seat, crib, and high chair.
Essentially, you will do all it takes to keep your child safe.
Now, some parents-to-be are choosing yet another procedure that they feel can keep their little ones safe and healthy for a lifetime — cord blood banking.
The collection of cord blood is neither harmful nor painful to your newborn or yourself. It is a very simple process that we will explain later in this article, and one that you can opt for whether you have a Caesarian section or vaginal birth.
You only get one chance to collect your baby’s cord blood at birth, so it is best to educate yourself about the process and its benefits. This way, you can make an informed decision about cord blood banking before you give birth.
We hope this article will help you in your decision-making process.
What is cord blood and cord lining banking?
The umbilical cord is the connecting lifeline between you and your baby. It connects your developing baby to your placenta, providing nutrients and removing waste.
Cord blood (or “placental blood”) is blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following the birth of a baby and after the umbilical cord is cut after delivery.
Cord blood banking is the process of storing this blood, which provides a rich source of stem cells should the need ever arise for a stem cell transplant. The stem cells in cord blood are known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and are primarily responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.
Some parents also opt to store the lining of their baby’s umbilical cord. This lining contains other forms of stem cells called Mesenchymal stem cells and Epithelial stem cells, which play a big role in the “infrastructure” formation in the human body, for instance, the formation of skin or muscle.
Benefits of cord blood banking
- If your baby’s cord blood is stored, he can benefit from it during his entire lifetime, should the need arise, through autologous stem cell transplant therapy.
- Stem cell transplant can also benefit another person (e.g. a sibling or a matched recipient) through allogeneic transplant therapy.
- Should stem cells become urgently required for a transplant, having your child’s cord blood readily available will be of such critical importance, compared to going on a national or international search, both being costly and time-consuming. Consider this: the cost of procuring a cord blood sample in Singapore can cost up to $75,000—and that is, if a match is found. The odds of finding a match in the same racial group is around one in 20,000.
To read about more benefits of cord blood banking, please follow this link.
At least 50% of childhood cancers can be treated with stem cell transplant therapy. Find out more on the next page.