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As an expecting parent, you are not only excited but also grappled by many thoughts. You may wonder if you are doing everything right for the health and wellbeing of the child as well as the mother. Pregnancy brings about many changes and to prepare for it you may already be reading about the best tips and tricks! However, have you missed something crucial?

Most parents are now taking keen interest to safeguard their child’s future health by utilizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve their cord blood stem cells. Expecting parents often talk with their healthcare providers about the many benefits of this process. If you are considering to bank your child’s stem cells post-birth, you should make an informed decision by weighing the pros and cons of this lifetime investment.

Benefits of umbilical cord blood banking

  1. Painless and risk-free procedure: The cord blood collection procedure is quite simple and easy. It takes only a couple of minutes to collect it post-delivery. Usually, the doctor or hospital staff do the blood collection through a needle once the cord is separated from the mother and the child. This procedure, thus, is painless and absolutely risk-free for both the mother and the child.
  2. Treatment of diseases: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA has approved the treatment of over 80 diseases using cord blood stem cells. These include different forms of blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukaemia as well as various immune, genetic, blood, and metabolic disorders such as sickle cell . Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D., director of the pediatric bone marrow and stem cell transplant program at Duke University says, "The outcomes of cord blood transplants have improved over the past 10 years because researchers and clinicians have learned more about dosing cord blood, picking better matches, and giving the patient better supportive care as they go through the transplant."
  3. Future implications: Researchers are now focused on finding the treatment of many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes using stem cells. With the influx of new information and advances in stem cell-based treatments and regenerative medicine, the full potential of these cells needs to be realized.
  4. Accessibility: Preserving stem cells at a community stem cell bank offers easy accessibility to the matched stem cells when needed. This avoids delays and additional costs involved in finding a donor match. LifeCell offers exclusive access to India’s largest stem cell registry of more than 30,000 units to all its community members.
  5. Sole decision-making: Parents have the option to either donate stem cells at a public bank or preserve them for future use at a private or community stem cell bank. Parents have the right as well as the sole-decision making power over the usage of stem cells when required. LifeCell community stem cell banking preserves your child’s stem cells & safeguards the future of the child, parents, sibling, and grandparents, providing 360° protection.
  6. Higher transplant success rates: Blood-forming stem cells can be extracted from bone marrow, peripheral blood, and cord blood. However, it has been observed that stem cells obtained from cord blood have a lower rejection rate and risk of transmission of infection than the ones obtained from bone marrow. Moreover, with LifeCell community banking increases the chance of finding a match is greater than 96%. This ensures a higher success rate of stem cell transplants.

It is equally important to understand a few limitations of stem cell banking too.

Cord Blood Banking Disadvantages

  1. Future usage: There is a 1 in 217 chance that your child will need a stem cell transplant. There are chances that you may never need those preserved stem cells. However, having a useful resource saved in case of any misadventure avoids unnecessary delays and expenses.
  2. Limitation in the treatment of diseases: There exist limitations in terms of what all medical conditions can be treated by stem cells. For instance, if your child is born with a genetic condition then the stem cells will also carry that faulty gene. Therefore, a child cannot use his or her own stem cells in that case. This is a major drawback of private banking wherein you are only allowed to use your own child’s stem cells. However, with community stem cell banking, you can access a large pool to find a donor match.
  3. Storage duration: Cord blood banking came into existence around 25 years ago. Therefore, there is no complete information on how long these stem cells can be preserved in a viable condition. However, researchers believe that if the best preservation practices are followed, stem cells can be effectively stored for many decades.
  4. Disposal: Private stem cell banks can discard preserved cord blood stem cells when payment isn’t made or the family no longer wants to preserve the stem cells.
  5. Cost: Parents are often in a fix because of the high costs charged by private stem cell banks. However, LifeCell community banking offers affordable storage plans and reasonable EMIs for parents, starting at just INR 950/month.
  6. Additional blood requirement: Delay in cutting the child’s umbilical cord can allow blood to flow back to the child that can reduce the risk of iron deficiency. Parents can opt to delay clamping by 30 to 60 seconds as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

You are now in a good position to make this valuable decision to protect your child and family’s future health! If you would like to know more about cord blood banking, Call 1800-266-5533 or SMS ‘LIFECELL’ to 53456!