There are so many decisions that have to be made prior to the birth of a baby; one of the most important is whether or not to hire a company to bank your baby’s cord blood. I’m due with my second child any day now, and I didn’t bank my son’s cord blood. I actually knew very little about our options for cord blood banking until after my son was born. July is Cord Blood Awareness Month; CBR® wants to remind everyone of the importance of saving your newborn’s stem cells and to encourage you to research your options for cord blood banking.
Who is CBR®? CBR® is the Cord Blood Registry® and it’s the world’s largest newborn stem cell bank. It was founded in 1992 and they store samples from over half of a million children. Over 350 families have utilized their cord blood for established medical treatments and experimental uses.
What is cord blood? The umbilical cord attached to a newborn contains powerful stem cells. The cells in cord blood can potentially help treat 80 known diseases and disorders’. Cord blood is always a perfect match for the infant that it was collected from, but there’s a 25% chance of being a perfect match and a 50% chance of being a partial match for same-parent siblings. It will always be a partial match to biological parents. Cord blood stem cells from both private and public banks have been used to regenerate health blood and immune systems for more than 35,000 transplants worldwide.
How does cord blood banking work? The process begins by calling CBR® or signing up online for cord blood banking. They’ll send you a collection kit after enrollment, and you’ll fill out the paperwork inside and store the kit until delivery day. When you arrive at the hospital on the infant’s delivery day, you’ll just give the kit to your healthcare provider and they will take care of the cord blood collection. The kit will contain information regarding a medical courier service that will pick up the collection kit for return to CBR®. Cord Blood Registry® will handle everything from there forward. CBR® will, process the cord blood, perform quality testing and store the sample in a secured laboratory until they’re needed.
What does banking cost? You can read more about collection and storage prices with payment plans on the Cord Blood Registry® website.
If you’re expecting a child or you know someone who is, I encourage you to read more about CBR® and the benefits of cord blood and tissue storage.