Why Store Your Baby’s Cord Blood

It’s all about the stem cells. The blood in your baby’s umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells. Sem cells are being used to treat a number of diseases, and have the potential to cure more diseases as research increases.

Stem cells are now being used to successfully treat leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, along with non-cancerous diseases such as anemias. Stem cells are the basic building blocks of our body, and theoretically a single stem cell could be used to reconstitute the entire blood production or immune system.

Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells. Saving the blood from the cord takes about 5 minutes, poses no risk to your child, and may save the life of a member of your family some day.

What’s the main drawback. Stem cell collection and storage must be done very carefully and can be relatively expensive. Families that decide to preserve the chord blood can expect to pay around $1500-2000 for the collection at time of birth and about $150 a year to stre the cord blood. However, contrast the cost with the potential life saving benefits and it’s becoming an option for many families.

Families should carefully research before choosing a cord blood bank. The methods of collection, shipping, processing, and storage can all effect whether the stem cells are usable when needed later.

Make sure your cord blood bank is certified by the American Association of Blood Banks. Make sure the blood will be stored in cryovials and not in blood bags. Make sure the bank practices controlled rate freezing. all of these things will help ensure viability of the stem-cells.

Also find out how many of a bank’s samples have been successfully used in transplants.

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