There are so many things you have to think about when you’re pregnant. You have a limited amount of time to make lots of decisions. What are you going to name your baby? What are you going to do about child care? Are you going back to work? Which crib is best?
Obviously, there are a lot of questions during pregnancy. But what about decisions you didn’t know you could make? There’s a gift you can give your newborn that I wasn’t even aware of when I was pregnant. I wish I had known.
Science is a gift that keeps on giving
I’m a firm believer in science. I love it. Scientists have been working with stem cells found in umbilical cord blood in the treatments for various cancers, and blood, immune, and metabolic disorders. (x) Cool, right?
Your baby’s umbilical cord is made of tissue and contains blood, both of which are rich sources of powerful stem cells. In addition to the current use of cord blood in transplant medicine, your newborn’s stem cells may offer benefits in potential future uses such as regenerative medicine.
What’s amazing about all of this is that you can choose to save your baby’s own cord blood and cord tissue, as a potential resource for your baby in the future. It is possible immediate family members could use the cells, too! Banking cord blood is kind of like a safety net: it means your family may have access to treatment options for certain conditions. You hopefully won’t need it, but if you do, it’s there.
You never know what can happen. I had a friend in second grade that died of leukemia for which cord blood may be a potential treatment option. And, as science advances, who knows what cord blood may be used for 20 years from now.
Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is helping advance stem cell research by partnering with reputable research institutions on FDA-regulated clinical trials. They’re helping to fund clinical trials to investigate the potential for newborn stem cells as a potential treatment option for conditions that currently have no cure, for things like autism, hearing loss, and cerebral palsy.
Other family members may use cord blood, too
Not only is each child a perfect genetic match to their own stem cells, but preserved newborn stem cells may be a match to more than just your baby! Preserved newborn stem cells are a perfect match to your child, and may even be a match for siblings or parents, providing the ability to use the cells for potential future uses depending on the condition and other factors.
We didn’t know about cord blood banking or CBR when I was pregnant with Toot. It just wasn’t on our radar. But if we have a second baby, we are definitely considering it. One reason is because Toot may be able to benefit from it, too.
It’s a good idea to save cord blood for each child. This way, if needed, there is a higher likelihood that two siblings would be a suitable match to each other. But if you already have kids and weren’t able to save their stem cells, consider preserving the cord blood and cord tissue for any future children, knowing the potential use by other immediate family members.
How the process works
There are 5 easy steps to get started with CBR:
- Enroll with CBR online at cordblood.com/enroll or call them: 1-888-240-1996.
- CBR will ship you a collection kit.
- You take the kit with you to the hospital for the birth.
- A healthcare professional will collect the cord blood. You just need to call the courier once it’s collected.
- Relax with your newborn. CBR will take care of the rest and let you know when they get it.
Make cord blood banking your baby’s first gift
Your newborn won’t be asking for toys their first holiday season. Your baby will be happy staring at the glow of Christmas lights and cuddling up with you. Give your baby a meaningful gift of preserving their stem cells. It will be a decision you’ll be glad you made and one that might change a life.
Would you consider cord blood banking for your newborn?
Let me know in the comments below!