Expecting a baby is an exciting time in your life, however, there are many difficult decisions to make about the birth and the future of your child. You want to make sure that the choices you make will benefit the child, and hopefully ensure that you have a straightforward birth. One subject that you may be wondering about is cord banking, which is a topic that can be emotional.
Cord blood banking is the process where you decide to have the blood from your babies umbilical cord collected and stored. The part that the blood is extracted from is the placenta, which helps to deliver the nutrients to your fetus. The blood is taken after birth and stored for the future, just in case it is needed.
This blood contains stem cells which are classified as blood forming, and are believed to help when treating certain diseases. They can also help with bone marrow transplants and some forms of leukemia. This is why so many parents are choosing the cord banking procedure, but you need to consider if it is right for you and your family.
Until the 1970’s the procedure of cord banking was discarded; however, researchers discovered that the blood from the umbilical cord could help to save lives. There are many factors to consider before choosing cord banking, and you must discuss it with the people close to you. Although there are some excellent advantages to this procedure, there are also problems.
The blood forming cells that are present in the umbilical cord blood are primitive, and have shown to be excellent for some illnesses. When a child gets sick, and the illness is destroying the healthy blood cells within their body, a transplant may be necessary. This is when a cord bank is an excellent idea as the healthy stem cells will help the body to produce more healthy blood cells.
The cost is a factor that you must consider as the procedure is not cheap, unless you choose to have the blood stored in a public bank. Private cord banks make the process far more personal as you are paying for the service. These stem cells will only be used for private family use, and are stored until you say otherwise.
There are many advantages to choosing a private cord bank, which includes the exclusivity that it provides. If you need to use the stem cells, you do not need to search for a donor as you have one stored. The chance of rejection is far lower, and there is a higher success rate when using stored stem cells.
The ownership of the cells remains with your family, and the private clinic will not use them for any other purpose. However, there are also disadvantages to this form of cord banking, which includes the collection and storage fees. Insurance will rarely cover the costs of this procedure, which is why many people choose public cord banks.
Public cord banks are typically free; however, you need to be aware that your baby’s stem cells can be used by anyone who needs treatment. The blood is collected anonymously, marked and stored within the public bank. The sample becomes public property for the clinic to use as they wish, including research labs.
This act could save a child one day, and regardless of whether that is your child, some parents like the idea of helping. However, by using a public bank the chances of finding an ideal match if you need one are slim. There is no guarantee that the public banks will have the correct stem cells, and there is no way of retrieving yours.
The chances of rejection are far higher, and you may have o put your child trough several transplants all with little success. The bank decides who receives the stem cells, and you are signing over the rights to any further involvement with your sample. Finding a perfect match through a public cord bank is difficult, stressful and for some people impossible.
You need to consider the fact that if your child becomes ill one day, you cannot contact the public bank for your donation of cord blood. If you have a history of certain diseases in your family, you may want to consider the procedure. Another reason for the procedure is if you have a family member or child that already has an illness.
If you have decided that you want the cord banking procedure, you will need to discuss this with your doctor and the hospital. Cord banking is not a procedure that is routine for either home births or hospital deliveries. You will need to notify the people delivering your baby and plan for the procedure to take place.
Collection of the stem cells takes place after birth, and a unique kit is needed which you can obtain from the cord bank. The blood will need to be taken by a professional, and the procedure is straightforward and quick. Once the sample has been taken, it is transported by courier to the cord bank of your choice.
Private cord banks will record all of your details, and provide an identity number for the stem cells before they are cryogenically stored. It is believed that these cells will last forever in the correct storage facility. You will need to pay a yearly fee to store the cells, on top of the initial cost to take the sample.
Discussing the procedure with your doctor beforehand is recommended, to get an insight into their feelings. Many health professionals support cord banking and believe that it has huge potential in the future. Although you may never need to use the cells that are collected, the research that surrounds this procedure is amazing.
You must take your time with this decision, and ensure that you have researched all of the different factors including the choice of private clinics. The clinic must be financially stable, and have a top quality reputation. You want to be sure that your stem cells are being protected and that they are available if you need them in the future.