Cutting your child’s umbilical cord is a special, emotional moment. It’s also an opportunity to help your baby and others. Learn more about how keeping umbilical cord blood after birth saves lives to determine if it’s right for your family. It’s important to consider before your baby’s due date arrives so there’s time to weigh your options.
The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) reported 266,000 available cord blood units on the national donor registry in 2021, with over 4,000 units added that same year. That may seem like a lot, but compare those numbers to the 3.6 million babies born in 2021.
If all of those babies had their cord blood saved in a public or private blood bank, they would have brighter futures because they could use their donations to save or support their health. Your child may not need it immediately, but their cord blood might save their life after a chronic health diagnosis in childhood or adulthood.
When parents read about how umbilical cord blood cures diseases, the first thing they often learn is that cord blood helps fight cancers. The banked mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) fight and treat over 80 diseases including cancers because they can morph into different types of cells and repair the body after chemotherapy treatments or surgeries.
Although many other cancer treatments exist, your child may have a faster, more comprehensive recovery if they can access their banked blood after diagnosis. Public donations would give other children and adults access to the same life-saving MSCs.
People often think of weight loss when they picture their metabolism. It’s your body’s way of burning more calories alongside thermogenesis, but sometimes people inherit disorders or diseases that keep their metabolism from also producing enzymes to regulate their bodily toxins.
Umbilical cord blood cures diseases like metabolic disorders by resupplying essential cells that support lost functions. Whether your child receives their banked blood or it helps others, the cord blood will help them live longer by healing their bodies.
Children are sometimes born with or develop immunodeficiencies that weaken their immune systems permanently. They may suffer from prolonged illnesses that cause hospitalizations or die early from infections. When they can access banked cord blood, the cells increase the production of platelets needed to fight viruses, bacteria and diseases.
Whether you donate to public cord banks or save your child’s cord blood in a private bank, you’re saving a critical health resource that will last for decades. The cells will remain viable even when your child is elderly because the storage methods preserve the life-saving blood in the most optimum conditions.
After learning about how keeping umbilical cord blood after birth saves lives, think about your child’s potential future. If their genetics put them more at risk for conditions like cancers or immunodeficiencies, you could save their life by banking their umbilical cord blood.
You’ll also help others by donating it to public banks. Either effort saves lives, so it’s worth your careful consideration as you get closer to your baby’s due date.
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