Can Cord Blood Stem Cells Be Used To Treat Your Premature Baby

When a baby is born before the 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is a premature birth. Such mothers might go into labor early and the causes of premature birth manifold: placental abruption, thinning and dilating of cervix, fluctuations in the hormones and infection causing bacteria and virus, during pregnancy. Inspite of these problems, the baby can still be born healthy and without any complications.

In other cases, depending on the cause of premature birth, it may lead to complications that can endanger both mommy and baby’s lives. Remember, the earlier your baby is born, the higher the risk of health problems.

premature baby

Current research is investigating whether stem cells of a newborn can be used to overcome common medical conditions associated with prematurity from perinatal sources such as umbilical cord blood and cord tissue. Cord blood banking for pre-term birth gives them the greatest chance of resolving any significant health issues if they arrive prematurely. Let’s take a closer look at specific health conditions and how stem cell banking can benefit them.

Cerebral Palsy

Babies that are born early are at higher risk of developing cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects the brain and causes a lack of full control of physical movement. It leads to difficulty in walking, balance, eating, swallowing, speech, and coordination of eye movements due to bleeding in the brain and the accumulation of fluid.

In 2017, a study successfully used out-of-storage infusions of cord blood stem cells to enhance mobility in children with cerebral palsy by enhancing the body’s repair mechanisms. The stem cells move to damaged areas in the brain and replace the dead or impaired cells.

Thus, it makes sense to consider cord blood banking as a lifeline for your infant, should they be born early, to combat cerebral palsy, knowing that the risk increases drastically for premature babies.

Under-Developed Lungs

Newborn respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) happens when the lungs of a baby are not fully formed and do not supply adequate oxygen, resulting in trouble breathing. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is another concern affecting preterm babies with under-developed lungs (BPD). It contributes to fluid accumulation, scarring and lung damage resulting in asthma-like symptoms in some babies.

The umbilical cord of your baby is a rich source of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) recognized for their superior healing qualities. Clinical studies are ongoing to assess how these cord blood cells can restore the structure of the lung and treat acute lung injuries. In a 2017 study, researchers noticed that when nine very preterm infants at high risk of developing this chronic lung disease were successfully administered with these cells, the magnitude of the illness endured was significantly lower.

There’s a real chance of developing lung problems for premature babies. When they are born, collecting and preserving their stem cells offers peace of mind that support is on hand if required.

Eye Problems

Premature babies have areas on the retina that do not receive enough oxygen and are affected by Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). To provide oxygen, the retina in the eye requires a continuous blood supply. If a child is born early, the formation of these blood vessels is incomplete. The retina is pushed out of place, impacting the ability of your baby to see properly.

Several studies show that not only can cord blood stem cells regenerate and replace damaged cells, but they also facilitate eye repair. The stem cells also have the extra capacity to modify surrounding cells promoting the formation of normal, healthy blood vessels and capillaries.

The incidence of preterm birth and its associated retinal prematurity are unavoidable. The emergence of stem cells therapy provides a potential alternative treatment.

To Conclude

A premature arrival of your baby can throw your world upside down. But whatever health challenges you and your newborn may face, cord blood therapy in pre-mature babies are emerging as a potentially paradigm-shifting approach and provides an invaluable resource to help you overcome them.