Did you know that cord blood could hold the key to saving your child’s life? Cord blood is a term that was coined to refer to the fluid that flows through your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after birth. This fluid contains essential stem cells that can be used in the future to fight off certain illnesses and are currently used in regenerative medicinal practices.
CORD BLOOD IS RELATIVELY NEW.
The main problem that society faces regarding this issue is awareness. Because stem cell research is still considered a new science, not many people understand the true value of cord blood. In fact, it is scientifically proven that over 90% of cord blood stem cells are discarded after birth and are considered medical waste. New research has proven that stem cells are an invaluable tool in regenerating tissues and even curing certain ailments.
One of the main benefits of using cord blood is that it doesn’t require 100% matching, unlike organ transplants. We all know how hard it can be for people in need of transplants to find a donor that matches, so the introduction of stem cells via cord blood will make it a lot easier for more people to get the transplant that they need. It’s also worth noting that some people wait years for organ transplants simply because they can’t find a matching donor. With stem cell transplants that is no longer an issue. If you preserve your child’s cord blood, you may be able to prevent life threatening diseases from taking hold of your child in his adolescence and even into his adulthood.
HOW IS CORD BLOOD COLLECTED?
Thanks to new advances in technology, the collection of stem cells from your baby’s cord blood is risk-free for your baby and for the mother. Cord blood is usually collected by way of syringe within the first 15 minutes after the placenta is delivered. While the cord blood is being drained into a sterile bag, an anticoagulant is added to stop any clots from forming. After the process of collecting the cord blood is completed, some red blood cells are extracted to reduce its volume.
HOW DO I STORE THE STEM CELLS?
Most of the time parents collect their child’s stem cells in case they need to be used in the future. With that being said, your child’s stem cells need to be stored in very specific conditions to remain usable. Stem cells need to be frozen and stored in special freezers that use liquid nitrogen so that they can be preserved indefinitely.
I know what you’re thinking, “There is no way that I can store it in my house!” Because it is nearly impossible for the average person to store this type of liquid, private cord blood banks have opened up that specialize in storing cord blood, for a reasonable yearly fee. You can use one of these facilities to store your child’s stem cells in case there is ever a need.
By Steve Stanley