What Is Cord Blood Banking?

What Is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord blood banking is the phenomenon of collecting the blood present in the baby’s umbilical cord and then freezing it. People who go for it have good reasons but since not many people are aware of it, there is a lot of confusion and controversy regarding cord blood banking. If you are thinking about cord blood banking, you should first assess the pros and cons of the process so that you can make an informed decision. Here is detailed information about the procedure for you to understand. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What are the Benefits?

The blood from the umbilical cord of a baby can be very useful because it has numerous stem cells. These stem cells are very important for treatment of a number of bone diseases and blood diseases including sickle-cell disease, osteoporosis, and many forms of anemia, lymphoma, and leukemia. The treatment for these diseases usually starts with blood transfusion and chemotherapy.

However, in some cases, stem cell transplant becomes an absolute must! The good thing about stem cell transplant is that stem cells are not very specific like in the case of bone marrow. Thus, you don’t have to struggle hard to find the right donor for the recipient. Also, the donor – the baby – feels absolutely no pain while donating!

Misunderstandings

Many people think that the blood donated will be useful for the baby if at all he develops a problem once he grows up. This is not true. This is because most diseases mentioned above are genetic. So, if he gets such a disease, it implies that the blood carries the genes for the disease already. How will that help? This is the reason why many people don’t go for cord blood from a bank. They choose the cord blood of someone related such as their sibling.

About the Umbilical Cord and Cord Blood

When the baby is born, the umbilical cord is full of blood. It easily consists of about 5 oz. of blood. Know that this amount is not enough for adults. It is sufficient only for children who weigh less than 90 lbs. The blood can’t be used for anyone weighing more than 90 lbs.

This is the reason why researchers want to find a way to use blood from different umbilical cords to cure diseases in adults through larger stem cell transplants. Some public blood banks don’t bother storing units that are very small. Others store them even though they may not even be used later on.

What are the considerations?

If you want to donate the umbilical cord blood, you should first consider whether you want to donate it to a private bank or a public bank. Donation to a public bank is free and as the name suggests, anyone who needs it can use it. Private banks cost you money and you can safeguard the blood for use in the future for any family member. If you think that there are positive chances of needing the blood in the future, you may go for a private bank. Otherwise, you could donate it to a public bank.

Expert Advice

Experts say that if your family has a medical record of any disease that can be treated with cord blood, you should go for a private bank. Otherwise, going for a public bank is the best bet thing to do.

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Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.