April 06, 2015

When you’re pregnant, there are many final details to get in order before your child is born. However, umbilical cord blood banking is one of the details that you shouldn’t slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to do your homework in the early stages of pregnancy.

The blood found in the umbilical cord of a newborn child is rich in stem cells, which can be used for lifesaving treatments to more than 80 diseases, including many types of leukemia, cancer, and anemia treatments. One study reported that only 20% of eligible parents in a large metropolitan area donated their child’s cord blood to a public bank. Of course, there were probably some parents who decided to store their child’s umbilical cord blood in a private family bank like CariCord, but there was still a large percentage of cord blood that was discarded as medical waste. Because cord blood can potentially cure diseases that can develop in different stages of pregnancy or after the birth of a child, it is crucial that we raise awareness about umbilical cord blood banking and the associated non-controversial stem cell research.

A doctor or medical professional must collect the cord blood at birth, so it is important that expecting parents choose public or private cord blood banking before the birth of their child. The decision can be made at virtually any of the pregnancy stages. The cord blood must be frozen within 48 hours, according to the FDA, which regulates the process.

Even if you do not choose during one of the pregnancy stages to retain your child’s cord blood for personal use in a private bank, you can donate it to a public bank, at no cost. When you do this, your baby’s belly button can potentially save lives. Not only that, but “it’s such an easy way to save a life,” reported one parent who chose to donate her newborn’s cord blood to a public umbilical cord blood bank.

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