The umbilical cord provides a lifeline for your child whilst in the womb but when they are born, there is now a growing trend to save the cord blood for future medical purposes. Here are some the arguments for and against the idea for you to consider.
This is basically the blood from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby and is the blood that mainly originates from the placenta. The cord blood is a source of a specific type of hematopoietic stem cell, which is a blood forming cell and is known to have the potential to cure a number of diseases and conditions. Cord blood derived embryonic like stem cells (which are often referred to as CBE) are very similar to embryonic stem cells and the idea of collecting and storing this blood has been growing in popularity since the 1990's.
Cord Blood Collection
The actual task and process of collecting cord blood only takes a few minutes after birth but it is a choice that has to be made prior to delivery in order to ensure adequate preparation. Once the baby has been delivered the doctor has no more than a period of up to fifteen minutes in order to clamp and cut the cord in order to collect the blood. After this period has expired the cord clamps itself off as a result of exposure to air and the opportunity has been lost. The two ways that the blood is collected is either by attaching a bag to the cut end of the cord, allowing the blood to drain into the bag, or by the using a syringe to draw out the blood in much the same way as taking a blood sample.
Shortly after the blood has been collected it has to be frozen in liquid nitrogen in order to preserve it. There are two options available to parents in relation to storage, which is either to pay for your sample to be collected and stored in a private facility run by a company that specializes in the service or to use one of the approved public blood bank facilities. Click here to see an info graphic on the stages of pregnancy.
Pros and Cons
There are several arguments that are raised in relation to the subject and only you can ultimately decide if this is a procedure that you wish to take advantage of. Some people argue that it is in some ways unethical to collect and store the blood but the process is heavily regulated and controlled so choosing to store your child's cord blood will be a personal choice based mainly on health benefit reasons rather than anything else. The way to view the idea of collecting and storing cord blood is that it is a one time opportunity to acquire a specific sample of blood that could have health benefits for your child in the future. Provided you consider the options open to you carefully, many health professionals offer general acceptance of the procedure, so you can collect the cord blood with the intentions of doing what you considered right for your baby's future with minimal concerns or considerations.