This post is sponsored by CBR®, but all opinions are my own.
Right before I got pregnant with Elliott, I had the privilege of being matched with a woman through the Be The Match program and was able to donate bone marrow to her for a transplant. This experience will always be held close to my heart so the topic of stem cell research is something that is extremely important to me.
If you are an expecting new mom, chances are you are positively overwhelmed with all the information, choices and decisions that are being thrown at you right now. Unfortunately that information, those choices and those decisions are just getting started. One of the things I wish I had done more research on was cord blood banking. It was one of those things that I thought I’d get to and then little miss arrived 13 days early and only 3 hours after arriving at the hospital. We had asked to speak to someone about cord blood banking when we were admitted but it all happened so fast, I just didn’t have time. That’s why even now, before we’re thinking about baby #2, I’ve started doing my research about cord blood banking so that we will be ready to make that decision, if and when the time comes. In honor of Cord Blood Awareness Month, here are 11 facts you should know as you begin your research.
- Your baby’s umbilical cord is made up of tissue and contains blood. Both that tissue and blood are rich sources of powerful stem cells.
- Why are these cells better? Cord blood stem cells are biologically younger and are more flexible compared to adult stem cells from other sources like bone marrow.
- Cord blood stem cells are currently used in transplant medicine to regenerate healthy blood and immune systems.
- Cord blood banking preserves these cells for potential treatment of 80 known diseases and disorders, including leukemia, certain other cancers and blood, immune and metabolic disorders as part of a stem cell transplant, and perhaps more as research continues into these cells’ ability to act like a body’s personal repair kit.
- Cord blood stem cells from family and public banks have already been used in more than 35,000 transplants worldwide.
- Your baby’s cord blood stem cells will always be a perfect match for him or her, but they aren’t the only one who may benefit from cord blood banking. Newborn stem cell preservation can potentially benefit siblings and parents, too. In many cord blood treatments, stem cells from a matched family member are preferred. Siblings of the same biological parents have a 25% chance of being a perfect match, and a 50% chance of being a partial match; biological parents will always be a partial match. Using a family member’s cord blood can have significant advantages in treatments, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes
- You can choose BOTH delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking for your baby.
- Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is the world’s largest newborn stem cell company and stores samples for more than 500,000 children. CBR hopes families may have access to more options and future technologies as they may become available and in fact, offer cord tissue preservation in addition to cord blood. CBR preserves the cord tissue as a whole sample to help safeguard the variety of cord tissue cell types. Cord tissue research is still in its infancy, but there are many possibilities for what may be discovered in the future.
- Cord blood banking doesn’t have to be expensive. CBR’s Newborn Possibilities Program® has assisted over 6,000 families with a qualifying medical need by covering all costs for stem cell processing and storage for 5 years.
- Still not sure you want to bank your baby’s cord blood, you can still help research in this area! All families can participate in advancing stem cell research and potential treatments by completing a family health questionnaire, which collects data on the most common conditions affecting CBR families and helps us focus our stem cell research. 100,000+ participants and counting.
- Cord blood banking is actually very easy to arrange! Just contact the company you decide to go with to enroll. If you choose to go with CBR they will then send you a collection kit that you simply hand to the doctor when you arrive at the hospital to deliver your baby! You will definitely need simple when that time comes! Trust me!
Disclaimer: Cord tissue use is still in early research stages, and there is no guarantee that treatment using cord tissue will be available in the future. Should such use become available, cord tissue will require additional processing prior to use. CBR is currently evaluating the potential to isolate and prepare multiple cell types from cryopreserved cord tissue for potential future use.
Cbr Systems, Inc.’s activities for New York residents are limited to collection of umbilical cord tissue and long-term storage of umbilical cord-derived stem cells. Cbr Systems, Inc.’s possession of a New York State license for such collection and long-term storage does not indicate approval or endorsement of possible future uses or future suitability of these cells.
Have you decided to bank your baby’s cord blood and tissue after birth? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about your experience!