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Parent's Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Cord Blood Banking

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Giving the best for your baby is much more work than you expected. You plan many things, as simple as choosing a name to more complex things like developing a plan on what you want for your birth. Creating a birth plan is especially essential in the process. Thus, communication with your partner or doctor is also crucial. 

 

You may expect doctors to provide you a lot of options. There are prenatal testing options such as ultrasound, blood testing, and even cord blood banking. It may sound new to you; however, these can be the options you need to consider in the first few months. The cord blood banking decision should be considered during the early pregnancy stage. 

 

Deciding to bank your baby's cord blood needs some thorough planning. Thus, one should understand and plan everything earlier. Here, we provide you the things you need to know about cord blood banking. 

Cord Blood 

Cord blood is the shorter term for umbilical cord blood. Shortly after birth, the blood is taken from the newborn's umbilical cord. Cord blood is known to be a rich source of stem cells. Furthermore, cord blood is also a rich source of other immune system cells. As babies don't need this excess blood, it is essential to use it for other purposes.

 

As for experts, cord blood should not be discarded. It was discovered that cord blood could treat several disorders and illnesses because of the cells that it contains. It can be used in treating hematopoietic and genetic disorders. An example of this is cancer, immune system and neurological disorders, and many more.

 

What makes it more special? The cord blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Aside from those, it also contains hematopoietic cells known to replicate and mature into different types of blood cells. Thus, making hematopoietic cells helpful to treat over 70 diseases. 

Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking is the process of collecting cord blood. Over the years, cord blood banking became more popular. Most parents may be new to this. However, there is no need to worry. The collection of cord blood does not have any health risks. The cord blood collection process is completely safe, assuring you that nothing will happen to you and your baby.

 

Doctors also provide information about the procedures. They also offer options for you to consider. Other families opt to donate the cord blood, some store it privately, and some just decided to discard it. 

How It Works

The collection of cord blood is done after the delivery of the baby. They draw the blood using a needle from the umbilical cord vein after cutting and clamping the cord. This is to prevent pain and discomfort. How about other processes? There is no need to worry much about this. 

 

Healthcare providers and cord blood banks will do most of the work for you. The following steps include the cord blood bank providing you the collection kit. After collecting the cord blood, it will then again be placed inside the collection kit. Typically, the cord blood collection bag will be delivered via courier to the cord blood bank.

 

The cord blood bank will then quickly process the cord blood to ensure the stem cells and immune system cells are viable in the cord blood. After it is processed, identifying numbers will be provided. It is also crucial to separate first the stem cells from the blood before it is stored and frozen.

Banking Options

There are two types of cord banks you can opt for. The public banks and the private banks. The collected cord blood by the public banks will be used for research. Some will also be stored for anyone who might need them in the future. Private cord blood banks store cord blood primarily for personal or family use.

Benefits

There could be multiple benefits of donating cord blood to public banks. Unlike bone marrow, the person receiving the transplant does not have to match with the cord blood. That means more people can receive stem cells from cord blood. Furthermore, there is also less chance for the body to reject the cord blood's stem cells. Simply, donating to public cord blood banks can surely save the lives of others.

Takeaway

Deciding about cord blood banking is an essential part of life that needs thorough planning and understanding. If you and your partner are still unsure, you can ask for help and guidance from a doctor. Thus, planning during your early pregnancy is also important. As long as you have understood all procedures and facts about the process, there is nothing to worry about. 

 

Furthermore, cord blood banking is purely a personal decision to make. Again, making decisions in the delivery room is not advisable. Communication with your partner is also essential to discuss what is right for you and your family. 

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