Many expectant parents usually do some sort of research, or at least hear about, cord blood banking. If you have never heard of it or you are unfamiliar with the definition, cord blood banking involves collecting blood left in your newborn’s umbilical cord and the mother’s placenta and storing it for future medical use. To some, this sounds strange and they will not even entertain the idea of it. I just want to share some of the benefits of cord blood banking, because not everyone knows just how much this can do for their children in the future.
Stem cells are the building blocks of your immune system and your blood. They have the ability to develop into other types of cells. Doing this allows them to repair tissues, blood vessels and organs as well as treating a ton of diseases.
Let’s say Billy has unfortunately been diagnosed with cancer. Billy will receive chemotherapy and the cancer could go into remission. If Billy’s treatment fails or the cancer comes back, the next step is to do a stem cell transplant. This will create a new blood and immune system that is healthy and will give Billy a better chance at recovering. My boys are now 9 and 15 years old. When I was pregnant with each of them, advanced biobanking never crossed my mind. Unfortunately, cancer runs in my family. My mom passed away due to breast cancer when she was 42. My aunt is now in hospice care with cancer and my cousin has just been diagnosed as well. If given the chance, to run back time, I definitely would have looked into setting up a cord blood bank. Technology has come a long way. Who knows what opportunities will be available for us in the future!
Cord blood can treat over 70 different diseases, including leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, and more. Something else a lot of people might be unaware of is that you can be treated with someone else’s stem cells. If your disease is cancer, you would need stem cells from a healthy donor because using your own stem cells brings a risk of putting the disease right back into your body. With all of the benefits to using a cord blood bank, it is definitely a good route to go if you can afford it. It is a bit pricey, but imagine all of the good it can do in the future! If you have any experience with using cord blood banking, we would love to hear about it!