Did you know that your baby’s umbilical cord contains powerful biological material that can save lives? In honor of Cord Blood Awareness month we are spotlighting the benefits of your umbilical cord blood and options for storage or donating to aid medical research.
What is cord blood?
Cord blood contains a high concentration of powerful stem cells that have the potential to cure and treat many diseases. Currently there are more than 80 diseases and disorders have been cured or maintained with cord blood treatments. Those conditions include lymphomas, leukemia, varied types of cancers, osteoporosis and other blood disorders.
How is cord blood used?
Right after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, the blood left in the umbilical cord can be collected and stored at a blood bank for later use. Unfortunately cord blood often is disposed of due to lack of awareness about its benefits.
Private banks vs. Public Banks
Public banks are nonprofit organizations that store cord blood for free and are typically used for a sick child or family member for research purposes. When you elect a public bank, you are choosing to donate cord blood to help another child or family who is in need. A private bank, however, requires storage and annual fees but is saved specifically for you or your family member if and when you need it. Storage at private banks can range for $1,000 to $3,000. Most health insurance policies do not cover storage. Privating banking is advised if your baby or family member has a disease or is at high risk of contracting a disease that can be treated with cord blood stem cells. Some organizations will help offset the cost of storing cord blood for those in need. You can search a national database of public banks here.
To find out if storing cord blood is the right decision for you, contact the experienced OB/GYNs and midwives at Adriatica Women’s Health at 972-542-8884. We’ll help you navigate the options that are best for you and your baby.