We have one chance, that’s right… just one, and it’s a choice that was mine to make, so why wasn’t I informed enough to make it?
I remember seeing the cord blood stem cell material somewhere and instead I probably flicked over the page and made a really important decision, like whether to decorate the nursery with Winnie the Pooh or baby giraffes.
Recently the topic of stem cell research came up, and now I’m really annoyed that I didn’t keep my babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue. I mean really annoyed.
We talk about whether we’re going to have a natural birth or C-section, about whether we’re going to breastfeed or bottle feed… WHY aren’t we discussing whether upon the birth of our precious bundles of joy, are we going to bank their cord blood and tissue?
What is cord blood and tissue?
What some of us don’t know is that upon giving birth, our little babies come delivered together with powerful stem cells. Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta after a baby has been born and cord tissue is the surrounding tissue of the umbilical cord itself. Both cord blood and cord tissue are rich in powerful stem cells.
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Why keep your baby’s cord blood?
We know that bone marrow transplants are used to treat very sick kids for leukaemia and other conditions. Family members go through a process to determine whether they are a match for the child, and if not a suitable match must be found.
Umbilical cord blood is used an alternative to bone marrow transplants, so parents who have banked their baby’s cord blood won’t necessarily have to search for a compatible donor and instead, have a potential treatment available immediately. This cord blood is a PERFECT match for your child, and is likely to be a match for their siblings and other family members. The stem cells in cord blood can potentially be used to treat your child for certain blood cancers and leukaemias in addition to immune system and metabolic disorders. In addition to this, stem cell research is currently underway for treatments in cerebral palsy, autism, stroke, Type 1 diabetes, hearing loss and spinal injury.
It’s been used world-wide in treating over 30,000 patients for over 80 conditions… and that’s right now, I can’t imagine what the future holds with additional research.
So why keep it?
Do you buy house insurance and car insurance? Well this is effectively a form of insurance for the future (as science develops), but it’s a policy you only have one chance to take out. You have only one chance to bank that amazing cord blood stuff – at birth!
Why keep your baby’s cord tissue?
Cord tissue contains different stem cells to those in cord blood. Lots of research is underway to determine if cord tissue may be used in the future for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and cartilage injury.
Basically, if you’re planning on keeping your baby’s cord blood, this is an amazing extra option to consider. Although cord tissue is not yet a proven treatment choice, the ongoing research in this area is very promising; it may be used in the future of the regenerative medicine that everyone is talking about.
What is the cost?
You may be surprised to know that you can store these potentially amazing stem cells for 25 years for as little as $140 per month (paid over 24 months), a cost that is similar to health insurance or Foxtel.
Cell Care, the biggest Australian cord blood and tissue bank by far, has flexible payment plans.You can pay up front for 18 or 25 years, or an annual monthly payment option.
If you’re a friend of an expectant Mother, do her a favour and give her the gift of choice..
Perhaps private banking isn’t right for your family and you might look into public cord blood donation. At the moment, public donation is only available at a limited amount of hospitals nationwide. The important thing here is to make sure your expectant friends are aware that their precious baby comes with an amazing cord.
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As a bonus, Cell Care would like to offer all SAHM readers an exclusive $200 offer*. If you request an information pack here and enroll with Cell Care, you’ll receive $200 off of your enrollment price on nay storage plan See, it pays to be a SAHM reader, register now