Have you ever noticed those cute, colourful building blocks children play with? Each of the blocks supports the other in forming a structure that eventually gets bigger and stronger, even as new blocks get added to them. Fascinating, isn't it? But what if we told you that our body too had similar building blocks. Yes, it's true. And these building blocks are called stem cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the ability to regenerate or form into new, specialised cells like blood cells, brain cells, lung cells, etc.1. But did you know that the umbilical cord, which is often discarded after birth, is a rich source of stem cells? As stem cell therapy continues to break new grounds in the world of regenerative medicine, it’s important more than ever to harness their power. And what better source to turn to than umbilical cord! In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells at birth while also throwing some light on how it’s done. So, let’s get started:
Besides umbilical cord, adult stem cells are also found in bone marrow and peripheral blood. When compared to the other two, umbilical cord blood is an easily-available, rich source of stem cells. Yet, it has always been discarded as a medical waste for years2!
However, cryo-preservation of cord blood stem cells through programs like LifeCell’s community stem cell banking, is now proving to be a gamechanger. Let’s learn how the process works and the benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells.
Soon after the baby’s birth, the umbilical cord is clamped at both ends and cut. Then the doctor collects the blood by inserting a needle into the cord and then transfers it to the collection bag. Thus, the collection process is pain-free both for the mom and the baby3. This collection bag is then put inside a tamper-proof collection kit by a paramedic from LifeCell who then sends it to the lab through a secure transit network.
Once the sample reaches the lab, it undergoes lab testing to analyse its cellular health, potential microbial contamination or infections, and blood grouping. To know more about the collection process, read our blog.
After the lab analysis, the blood sample is wrapped and sealed in cryo-bags (volume capacity:25ml), which are then frozen and transferred to cryo-vessels. The cells are frozen under -196℃ and preserved in vapor-phase liquid nitrogen within stainless steel cryo tanks.
Now let’s dive into what we set out to achieve first - discuss the benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells!
Here’s a quick checklist for you to understand the benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells. Let’s go:
Collecting stem cells from other sources like bone marrow typically takes 3-4 hours and may require repeat collection too4. However, umbilical cord blood stem cell collection is not only quick and easy, but is also non invasive, pain free and less time consuming.
Stem cells are often used to treat diseases that require transplantation. And this means that you’ll have to look for a matching donor, get the sample tested in the lab, and then wait for the stem cell collection
On the contrary, umbilical cord blood is collected at birth, analysed in the lab, tested and cryo-preserved for future use. So, when the need arises, it is readily available. In LifeCell’s Community banking program, the member can also access and retrieve the matching cord blood units for as many times as necessary, for no extra cost.
And with LifeCell’s community stem cell banking program, the member can access its humongous registry of 75,000+ cord blood units of Indian origin. This ensures that there is a >97% chance of finding a matching donor.
Also, once you bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells, there’s no added worry of the donor backing off at the last minute.
Most private and public stem cell banks limit the baby’s collected stem cell sample’s benefits only to the baby, or at the most, to parents. However, with LifeCell’s Community banking program, not only the baby, but the baby’s parents, baby’s siblings, maternal and paternal grandparents can also benefit. Isn’t that quite a handful?
Having said this, let us tell you that there are many more benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells apart from those mentioned above. To understand them better, read our blog on 10 Reasons To Bank Your Baby’s Stem Cells With LifeCell.
When it comes to ensuring the wellbeing of our loved ones, we never like to make compromises and always choose the best, don’t we? The same applies to health care too. And what better way to ensure a life-long good health than preserving your baby’s stem cells at birth.
With LifeCell’s Community Stem Cell banking program, not only your baby, but parents, immediate siblings, and maternal & paternal grandparents can avail the complete benefits. So, if you’re expecting a baby soon, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reap the benefits of preserving umbilical cord stem cells of your baby at birth. And we assure you that this will be one of those decisions that you’ll always be proud of!
To speak to a LifeCell expert and get more information about the Community Banking program, call us on 1800 266 55331.