Stem cells banking is a very important topic parents should discuss as soon as they get pregnant and think about the possibility of storing their baby's umbilical stem cells. This process is also known as cord blood banking or cord blood storage. It consists in retrieving the umbilical stem cells right at birth and storing them in a facility for at least 18 years.
Affordable Cost of Stem Cells Banking
The cost of cord blood banking are very affordable. You can even ask relatives to gift this to the baby. They average cost for cord blood storing is about 1.000 to 2,000 dollars. In some cases you may be charged a yearly storage fee of about 100 dollars.
Treatment for Incurable Diseases
Stem cells banking can save your baby from many conditions like childhood leukemia, lymphomas, immunological disorders, and other blood disorders.
No Need For Donors
By using his own stem cells your child will not need to wait for a donor or you do not need to be concerned about finding a correct match for your child because you can used his own.
Stem cells can also be used for a family member if there is a match. Many cases of successful stem cell transplants have occurred between siblings. If you have an older child and you did not save his stem cells, saving the stem cells of your new baby can also potentially save your older child's life.
Life Saving Treatments
Umbilical stem cells are the very first type of cells to develop in an embryo, thus they can replenish bone marrow if depleted by a disease or a type of treatment like chemotherapy.
There have been many cases, since the introduction of stem cells banking, of stem cell transplants, where the child has been successfully treated of a potential fatal disease through this procedure.
Put It In Your Birth Plan
I strongly believe that parents should look into this and find out if this is something they want to do because you need to inform your midwife and obstetrician as soon as possible so they can be prepared on the day of your delivery.
I also recommend putting this on your birth plan. In many hospitals stem cell collection is becoming a routine because more and more parents chose to have this done.
Choosing The Right Cord Blood Storage Service
If you choose to have cord blood storage done on your baby umbilical stem cells at birth, you need to choose the company that provides this type of service. They will ship you a stem cell collection kit, which you will keep at home with you.
Some need to be refrigerated and some can be kept at room temperature. Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Make sure to search for a reliable company that is close to you.
Stem Cell Collection Risks
Stem cell collection comes with some risks you need to be aware of. The major risk is low blood supply and anemia in the baby if the umbilical cord is clumped too soon in order to collect blood.
This is an important issue you need to discuss with your birth attendant and decide what is the best thing to do when you give birth. What I mean is that you may have everything ready to do stem cells banking but at birth an unexpected situation may arise which will prevent this from happening. Remember that the main goal at birth is to care for mother and child.
The Medical Research
There are also some controversial ideas in the medical field regarding using self-transplant stem cells because the risk of developing the same condition may be higher. Also there is very little research done in this area.
My personal opinion is that this is the same as buying a child life insurance, you hope that you will never have the need for it.
Piece of Mind
In the unfortunate event that your child will develop a disease that will require a bone marrow transplant, you have the opportunity to help him in a very unique way.
Parents' Choice That Can Make a Difference
Only parents that have been in that situation can know how it feels to be powerless and how they would do anything to save their child. Some parents chose to have another child in order to be able to save the cold blood to save a sick child, because the likelihood of siblings to be a donor match is higher.
Cell stem banking is another way to make sure your child will have a healthy life.
Reliability Is The Key
Make sure to search around for a reliable company that has been in business for a long time. Ask for references and make sure you get a consultation meeting with a medical professional where you can ask all the questions you need to ask.
Listen to your instinct and be aware of those who pressure you in making a decision or that use scare tactics in order to get your business. Talk to other parents and discuss this issue with those that can give you a honest opinion.
The stem cell bank is usually privately owned but it could be associated with a major hospital, also they should give you full ownership of your sample.
Some stem cells banking facilities in hospitals, just collect them for use of anyone that might need them. These do not usually charge but you do not have ownership of your cord blood and when you need it, it may not be there.
Stem cells banking has saved many lives and parents who chose stem cells banking are very glad that they did.
The following video explains in more details what stem cells banking is and what it can do for your baby and your family: