Why You Should Save Your Baby's Cord Blood?

Babys Cord Blood

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While you have been to your doctor visits, you have probably seen many posters that talk about cord blood banking for your to-be-born baby.

Till a few decades back, the umbilical cord blood of a newborn was considered a waste and discarded.

In recent times, medical science has proved that the cord blood can be one of the most useful things you can keep for your baby. It can cure your child from many life threatening diseases and has a hundred percent match in cases of rare diseases too.

What Is Cord Blood Banking?

Lately, the option of cord blood banking has become very popular as more and more parents are opting for the same.

  • Before you decide to do the same, it is essential you understand the concept of cord blood banking. This will help you take an informed decision after weighing the pros and cons.
  • Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after your delivery.
  • Cord blood banking means collecting and preserving the blood in such a way that the stem c
    ell contents of blood can be used later to treat diseases which require stem cell (or bone marrow) transplants.
  • It can be used to treat more than 45 deadly diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lymphoma, etc.

Types Of Blood Banking:

There are two options available for donating the Cord Blood. These are:

1. Public Cord Blood Banking:

In case of public cord blood banking, you can donate cord blood for research or for use by those who need it.

  • In this case, the cord blood is collected anonymously and preserved in a public bank.
  • There is no fee charged for this service.
  • Remember that there is a restriction to this. In the future, in case a child or family member develops any disease and you require the stem cells, you cannot obtain the donation you made.
  • However, you can be offered matching stem cells based on the availability.

2. Private Cord Blood Banking:

In case of private blood banking, the cord blood is stored in the name of the family for its personal use only.

  • Initially there is a fee associated for collection of cord blood, which can vary on the company policy.
  • Families who have a history of certain diseases can opt for this option as the availability is guaranteed.
  • It is observed that the fee associated with the service is high and the chances of contracting the diseases are very slim.

5 Questions To Ask Before Opting For Private Cord Blood Banking:

Just like any other investment you make, there are certain things you need to check on before making a decision to store the cord blood. If you are thinking to opt for public banking, you need to take the below mentioned points into consideration.

1. Does The Private Bank Meet The Standards Of The Regulators?

You will find many players offering to provide cord blood banking, but it is very essential for you to know whether they follow the standards set by the regulators.

In India, the regulating authority is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Government of India. Other bodies like the Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Biotechnology department are responsible for formulating polices.

2. Can The Blood Bank Process Blood In Stipulated Time?

There is a time limit stipulated for the processing of cord blood, which is 48 hours.

  • It is very important for you to make sure that the private bank possesses the capability to process the cord blood for storage in 48 hours.
  • Although the time limit is not very difficult to adhere to, in many cases the place of storage might be stationed internationally.

3. Does The Bank Follow Efficient Shipping Method?

It is necessary to transport the cord blood in a predefined temperature to ensure the cells do not die. You have to make sure about the kind of shipping method used by the bank and whether it can safeguard the stem cells.

4. Does The Bank Possess The Necessary Experience?

Confirm from the bank about how many cases they have handled for transplants.

  • If they regularly conduct research activities, ask for them.
  • Make sure you know that the stem cells are stored safely so that it can be retrieved efficiently

5. Is The Bank Profitable?

Remember that any company is running a business and it should be viable as its business is long term in nature.

  • You should find out whether the company, you chose, has sufficient insurance plans and useful tie ups to ensure continuity of its business.
  • Once you have checked the available information, don’t base your decision merely on price. Judge a company on its viability and standards.

Storing your cord blood can be a life-saving investment for your family, so make sure you understand the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Do share your experiences with cord blood banking in the comment section below.

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