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Cord Blood Stem Cells

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Now, you're probably thinking, "Why are they telling me all this? This is more information than I need." The chances are that you or your child will never need a stem cell transplant. However, there are many parents who have had to learn the importance of stem cells and of a stem cell transplant in order to save the life of their sick child or even another relative. It is unfortunate that we have the miracle of being pregnant and giving birth down to a science but no one has come up with a way to protect our children from diseases such as leukemia, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and a whole bunch of other diseases that are treatable with a stem cell transplant.

Now that you know how important stem cells are, you also need to be aware that being pregnant puts you in a very elite group for a short time. At birth, your baby's umbilical cord is filled with stem cells. Immediately after birth is the only time parents can choose collect these stem cells. Stem cells are abundant in umbilical cord blood and the collection procedure is safe, painless and usually done in five minutes or less with no risk to mother or baby. Parents must arrange for cord blood to be collected before their baby is born otherwise the cord blood is routinely discarded after delivery.

Chances are good that during all the reading you've been doing, you've read about cord blood and the importance of stem cells in your pregnancy materials or have heard on the news about the ground-breaking research and medical advances that have been made using stem cells collected from cord blood. These stems cells are unique to your baby and family, making them a valuable component to maintaining your family's future health.

The majority of expectant couples who decide to bank their baby's cord blood stem cells do not have any risk factors such as a history of a disease treatable with a stem cell transplant or a different ethnic background. Over 95% of the families who choose to collect and store their baby's stem cells do so for peace of mind, considering it money well spent if they never have a reason to use it.

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