Your baby’s umbilical cord represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture a rich source of human stem cells.
Stem cells are special cells in the body that can divide and produce more of themselves. They’re used to treat diseases and injuries, and are considered to be the cornerstone of regenerative therapies. The umbilical cord — and the stem cells within it — can be harvested and cryogenically frozen for use later in life in case of any medical issues.
Although there are many fields of study, two stem cell treatments are receiving particular focus. These areas of medicine include the Transplant Medicine (cancer and blood disorders) and Regenerative Medicine (cerebral palsy, brain injury and juvenile diabetes).
Because haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can transform into any type of blood cell, they are currently being used in the treatment of various blood cancers and disorders. This includes leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
This groundbreaking medical field uses stem cells to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs. This exciting area of medicine promises some extraordinary medical possibilities within your children’s lifetime, with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) considered to be an extremely important part of future developments.
The lifesaving power of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the regenerative healing of cord tissue is no longer a secret. As stem cell treatments and research advance, more and more parents are opting to bank their newborn baby’s cord blood and tissue. Find out how stem cells are being used in medicine today.
Umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the cord after your baby has been born and the cord has been cut and clamped. It contains valuable stem cells that can be used in a variety of medical treatments such as regenerating the immune system after chemotherapy. Stem cells are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. They have the unique ability to become other types of cells in the body such as the blood, nerve cells, muscle, bone, and cartilage.
Why are umbilical stem cells so valuable?
Cord blood stem cells can only be collected at birth, so it is important to make the decision to do cord tissue storage several weeks before your due date.
Cord Tissue stored at birth have many advantages – they are readily available for your family if needed, they are considered to be the ‘youngest and freshest’ type of stem cell, and importantly there is a greater potential of a stem cell match between siblings.
Stem cells from the cord blood have been used for more than 20 years for the treatment of a number of disorders of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and thalassemia, which previously had been treated with bone marrow.
The umbilical cord blood collection process
After the safe delivery of your child, your obstetrician or midwife cleans the umbilical cord (with the materials provided in the Cells4Life kit) and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity. The blood bag tubing is clamped, sealed and labeled to await courier collection. The whole process takes only a few minutes and causes no pain for mother or baby.
Contact Cells4Life and find out how you can benefit from the use of stem cells toda
Darren Keast is the author of this article on Tissue Typing Service. Find more information, about Store whole blood here