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What is Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood banking means preserving the newborn stem cells found in the blood of the umbilical cord and the placenta. When a baby is delivered, even if clamping of the umbilical cord is delayed, there is still blood remaining in the after birth that is rich in stem cells and has medical value.
While cord blood stem cells are not embryonic, they are more pristine than the stem cells in adults, because they are younger and they have had less exposure to illness or environmental factors. The stem cells in cord blood can be collected without any risk to the baby or mother.
Cord blood is used for therapy today in hospitals around the world. There are clinical trials that use cord blood for both stem cell transplants and emerging therapies in regenerative medicine.
Cord blood banking includes the whole process from collection through storage of newborn stem cells for future medical purposes. If needed for treatment, the cord blood bank will release the stem cells to your physician.
It’s up to you to decide what type of cord blood storage – public or private (family) - to choose:
- It costs parents nothing to donate their cord blood to a public cord blood bank. Not all parents are eligible to donate and only the biggest donations are saved. The saved donations are listed on a registry that medical doctors can search on behalf of transplant patients.
- Family cord blood banks charge a fee to store cord blood as biological insurance for the baby and close family members. When parents pay for family storage it is a form of biological insurance for their child and family.