Pregnancy brings about various changes in the lives of expecting parents. Securing their child’s health and happiness becomes one of the top priorities. Parents, therefore, are taking interest in getting to know more about stem cell or cord blood banking, which promises protection against various debilitating medical conditions. Many parents consider cord blood banking as a priceless investment for safeguarding their child’s as well as the family’s future health.
If you are considering to bank your child’s stem cells and wondering about its potential benefits, read more to avoid making a last-minute decision!
What is Cord Blood Banking?
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother in the womb. This cord transports oxygen and nutrients to the baby’s bloodstream through the placenta. Post delivery, the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta is called the ‘cord blood’. It is one of the richest sources of stem cells. Earlier, the cord blood was discarded as medical waste. However, with the recent developments in stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine, this cord blood is now collected and processed for clinical and research purposes.
This process of collecting cord blood to extract and cryogenically freeze stem cells for future medical use is known as cord blood or stem cell banking.
What’s in Cord Blood and How Do You Get It?
Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells, which are also found in the bone marrow and peripheral (circulating) blood. These stem cells have the potential to divide and differentiate into specialized cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Therefore, these stem cells have found applications in repairing and restoring blood and immune systems. Moreover, the cord blood has approximately ten times more stem cells than those in the bone marrow.
Cord blood collection process is quite simple and is done at the time of the birth of your child. It is painless and risk-free for both the mother and the child. It takes only a few minutes to complete the process. Usually, the staff at the hospital or your doctor places two clamps on the cord at about 10 inches apart. The cord is then cut and approximately 40 mL of the blood is collected using the needle. The cord blood is then sealed in a bag and sent for testing, processing, and storage to the stem cell bank. As per the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), cord blood collection is still possible if clamping is delayed by 30 to 60 seconds.
Why Bank Baby’s Cord Blood?
Is stem cell banking the right option for you? You should consider the following benefits when deciding to bank your child’s stem cells.
- These powerful stem cells have the potential to treat over 80 medical conditions (as per the approval by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S.A.). It covers a spectrum of diseases including, different forms of blood cancers and genetic, metabolic, immune, and neurological disorders. Currently, stem cells are being used successfully in the treatment of conditions such as lymphoma, leukaemia, and sickle cell anaemia. Moreover, the research is focussed on the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.
- Since the collection procedure takes place at the time of birth, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve these stem cells for future medical use for your child and family.
- It has been shown that stem cells retrieved from cord blood have significantly lower rejection rate and reduced risk of transmitting infection than the ones obtained from bone marrow.
- With their ability to divide and differentiate, these stem cells fulfil your family’s lifetime need for future use. The probability of an individual requiring stem cells during their lifetime for transplant is 1 in 217.
- Over 50,000 transplants are carried out globally in a year, indicating the clinical significance of the stem cells in the treatment of various life-threatening conditions.
- Moreover, it is quite difficult to find matching stem cells because of the low availability of donors of Indian ethnicity. With community stem cell banking, the chance of finding a match increases to more than 96 %.
Who Can Opt for Cord Blood Banking?
Expectant parents can discuss cord blood banking with their health care providers. Since the cord blood collection occurs at the time of birth, expecting mothers can learn more about it from their first trimester itself. It is important to start this process early to make an informed decision based on your options. Parents have the choice to donate stem cells at a public bank, where these can be used by anyone in need or preserve them at a private or a community stem cell bank, where the stem cells stored can be used by the child and the family.
Should You Bank Your Baby's Cord Blood?
As you are now aware of the many benefits of cord blood banking, the decision-making process becomes quite easy and simple! With cord blood banking you not only protect your child but also safeguard your family against future medical conditions. The stem cells retrieved from your child can be effectively used in the treatment of many diseases in siblings or parents. You can, therefore, rest assured that with cord blood banking, these valuable stem cells will be readily accessible when you need them.
Is Cord Blood Banking Expensive and How LifeCell Helps?
Cord blood banking is a lifetime investment for the protection of your family. It acts as an insurance cover against various medical conditions that develop post-birth or in future.
LifeCell is the first and largest community stem cell bank in India. With its growing inventory of over 30,000 qualified samples, the chance of finding a matching stem cell for a successful transplant is greater than 96%! LifeCell’s community stem cell banking provides complete coverage to your child and family, including siblings, parents, and grandparents (maternal and paternal). Moreover, the dual storage facility at Chennai and Gurugram’s centres provides exclusive and easy access to LifeCell registry.
LifeCell also offers parents affordable storage plans and low-cost EMI options starting at just INR 950 a month. By availing these plans, community members can retrieve unlimited samples at absolutely no additional cost for the entire family. Moreover, LifeCell offers unlimited financial assistance of up to INR 20 lakhs for every stem cells transplantation for the baby, siblings, and parents.
With LifeCell’s community banking program, you can provide complete protection to your child and family and avail the many benefits offered to its community members. If you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to us and let us steer you through this process! Call 1800-266-5533 or SMS ‘LIFECELL’ to 53456!