Why Should I Save My Baby’s Cord Blood?
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord serves a vital function – it delivers oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta to your developing baby. In the past, it was common to discard both the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery; however, if the umbilical cord and placenta are discarded, the chance to preserve the precious stem cells that they contain, will be lost.
By saving your child's cord blood, he or she will have a guaranteed match of stem cells that may be used in the event that threatening illness develops. A healthy person's stem cells continually replenish their blood cells and immune system cells. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, destroy the body's ability to do this alone; however, new stem cells from a cord blood transplant can help rebuild these systems. Stem cells can also be used to repair and regenerate new tissue.
Currently, cord blood stem cells are used to treat over 75 diseases, and a child's cord blood could potentially preserve their health or the health of another family member should they be affected by one of them. These diseases include various Leukemias, aplastic anemia, Hodgkin's disease, sickle cell anemia, Tay Sach's disease, breast cancer, brain tumors, small-cell lung cancer, and other cancers. Additionally, researchers are actively exploring potential future applications including the treatment of diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.