Umbilical cord blood saves lives
Becoming a parent can be daunting. So many choices. So many decisions. Car seats, cribs, strollers – I often wonder how my son has survived all these years given the lack of BPA-free, eco-friendly, organically grown products eight years ago.
Pregnancy suddenly brings all those health fears bubbling to the surface. Particularly when reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting or as I call it Worse Case Scenario. However, one of my first decisions as a mother-to-be gave me the peace-of-mind I was seeking – banking my child’s umbilical cord blood. I knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect my newborn’s health, and I was not about to miss it. No one wants to think their child could ever become gravely ill, but unfortunately it does happen.
My husband and I ultimately decided to go with a local, long-established cord blood bank. Enrollment was the most painless part of my pregnancy. And I must admit, as my husband and I drove to the hospital in anticipation of our first child, I felt a real sense of both empowerment and relief knowing that the collection kit was packed safely in my bag.
The cells found in umbilical cord blood are now widely known to be a rich, non-controversial source of stem cells – the building blocks of all cells in our blood and immune system. They also are a 100 percent match for your baby and at least a one in four match for a sibling. Cord blood stem cell transplants have already changed — and saved — thousands of lives around the world. More so, science is honing in on other miraculous uses for these precious cells, potentially impacting countless numbers of lives with future regenerative therapies. Stem cells have been used in more than 20,000 transplants worldwide for more than 75 diseases, including cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia and diabetes.
The cord blood collection process is safe and painless to your newborn, performed by your doctor or midwife at birth, after the umbilical cord has been cut. After the collection, the blood is packaged and transported immediately to a facility for testing, processing and cryopreservation.
Cord blood banking has increased in popularity in the past decade, but it has yet to become the go-to baby registry gift. Because my husband performed stem cell research and my obstetrician was very informative about the benefits and process, our decision was a no brainer. It was a life-assurance policy for us.
Writer Wendi Lee-Randall is a Cryo-Cell customer and its marketing director. Visit www.cryo-cell.com to learn more.