Understanding Umbilical Cord Blood: 5 Important Facts - MissLJBeauty

Understanding Umbilical Cord Blood: 5 Important Facts

baby after being born

This is a collaborative post with Cells4Life.

The umbilical cord is more than just a physical link between a mother and her baby; it's a lifeline, a conduit through which life-sustaining nourishment flows. Throughout foetal development up until birth, this remarkable structure nourishes, protects, and sustains the growing life within the womb. The blood inside the umbilical cord is the richest source of stem cells a baby will ever have. After the birth of a baby, and once the cord has been cut, this precious blood can be collected and stored. Here are five crucial facts about umbilical cord blood from Cells4Life, renowned experts in stem cell processing:

Stem Cell Source: Umbilical cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells, pivotal for blood cell production, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These versatile stem cells offer treatment avenues for a spectrum of diseases, including metabolic disorders, blood disorders like Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, and cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and neuroblastoma.

Non-Invasive Collection: Collection of umbilical cord blood is a painless and non-invasive procedure. Following birth, the cord is safely clamped and cut, and the remaining blood in the cord and placenta is collected using a sterile needle and bag. This process poses no harm to the baby or the mother.

Compatibility Advantage: Cord blood stem cells present a lower risk of rejection by the recipient's immune system compared to stem cells from alternative sources like bone marrow. This attribute renders them particularly valuable for stem cell transplants, especially in cases where finding a compatible donor proves challenging. In fact, your baby’s cord blood is their perfect stem cell match and it has up to a 75% chance of being a partial match for a sibling and up to a 25% chance of being a perfect match for a sibling.

Storage Options: Umbilical cord blood can be stored for future use in either public or private cord blood banks. Public banks offer the cord blood to those in need, whereas private banks store it exclusively for the family's use. While storing privately incurs a cost, donating to a public bank is typically free. However, choosing a family biobank, such as Cells4Life, grants complete control over the sample's use, ensuring access to approved therapies, emerging treatments, and clinical trials.

Ongoing Research: Scientists continuously explore umbilical cord blood for its potential in regenerative medicine and treating various medical conditions. Ongoing research investigates its application in therapies for conditions like cerebral palsy, autism, and diabetes, among others.

Umbilical cord blood stands as a valuable resource with life-saving benefits, with its medical applications expanding as research progresses. In light of this, parents deserve to make an informed decision regarding the destiny of their baby’s cord blood, recognising that the opportunity to save these life-saving cells arises only at birth.

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