On your last check-up, you might have come across a cord blood banking pamphlet in the waiting room. While there are so many people who were willing you giving free advice about the benefits of saving your baby’s cord blood, it is but natural that you find yourself swarmed with a belly full of questions. So for starters, what it is cord blood and cord lining? Here are your basic doubts answered.
1.What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood, also known as placental blood, refers to the blood present in a baby’s umbilical cord, after it is severed on birth. This is a rich source of stem cells, bring home to many types, including hematopoietic stem cells, which have the ability to turn into any blood and immune cells.
2. What makes it different?
Like other cells present in a baby, cord stem cells have also been proved to be genetically unique. Furthermore, the gene line is similar to the stems cells of the family members as well. There are stem cells present even in our bone marrow. However, those present in the cord blood and cord lining are most easy to collect, although it can be done only at one point in our life, which is immediately after birth.
3. How are these stem cells collected?
Cord blood is extracted immediately after birth, via a painless procedure, wherein the cord is clamped, and cut; and the blood is collected by drawing it out from the cord using a needle and a “gravity bag.” It is then taken to a lab to be stored under special conditions.
4. Does the umbilical cord contain other vital resources?
Although it is a known fact that cord blood is said to be a rich source if stem cells, there is more to the umbilical cord. The cord is also composed of umbilical arteries, Wharton’s jelly, umbilical veins, all of which are protected by a membrane called the cord lining. And this sheath is a source of important stem cell types including mesenchymal stem cells and epithelial stem cells.
5. What are diseases can currently be treated with cord blood?
The cells drawn from the cord blood and cord lining are being used in some breakthrough treatments for a variety of diseases, including cancers of the blood and immune system, lymphomas, bone marrow cancers, leukemia, sickle cell disease, Gaucher disease, Hurler syndrome, anemia and inherited red-blood-cell abnormalities, to name a few. They are also being used in bio-medical research that aims in treating conditions like diabetes, cerebral palsy, autism and heart abnormalities present at birth.
The only way to secure the future health of your child is to choose to store the cord lining at a trusted bank so that it can be used if and when needed.