As you have probably heard by now through our pregnancy announcement and my recent post about the traumatic beginning to our 3rd pregnancy, we are expecting again! With the news of Baby #3 coming this winter, we’re kicking it in to high gear, planning-wise.
With each new baby comes new chances to try things you haven’t before, change things that didn’t work, and over all just a lot of decisions to make. Should we get a triple stroller? Should I try a new pump this time? Should the older two kids share a room, or should each be in their own? Will this baby like the co-sleeper, or should we go straight to the bed? Did nursing to sleep make the first two so clingy? (Kidding, kind of).
And then there is a pregnancy decision we never even new was possible with our first two: should we consider cord blood banking this time around? Of course, this is a much more personal and emotional decision than the others, but it’s also a very important decision.
The last question is one we have really been considering and hearing lots about, now especially, because July is Cord Blood Awareness Month, which is a celebration of the significant contributions made through stem cell research, trials, and treatment. With Baby #3, I’m vowing to become more educated on this subject so I can make a smarter decision.
So what is cord blood banking?
Cord blood, which contains powerful stem cells, comes from a newborn’s umbilical cord and is collected immediately after birth. In the future, it could be used to help treat an illness or disease, or even save a life.
What are some of the benefits of cord blood banking? Why should we consider this?
Well, first of all, stem cells can heal the body, promote recovery, and offer an enormous amount of therapeutic potential. Cord blood stem cells are biologically younger and more flexible compared to adult stem cells from other sources like bone marrow.
If and when stems cells and cord blood are saved after a baby’s birth, they have unique qualities and advantages:
- The ability to be used in transplants with less risk of complications
- Are being researched for the ability to use one’s own stem cells for conditions that currently lack medical treatment options.
- Cord blood is immediately available.
Basically, by preserving them right after birthing your bundle of joy, you “stop the clock” and protect the cells from aging and being exposed to environmental factors and common viruses that can impact their function.
How is cord blood banked?
Once the baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, the remaining blood in the umbilical cord is drawn into a collection bag. Then, it is saved for future us.
I’m learning so much on this subject, and one of the most informational groups I have found is Cord Blood Registry, the world’s largest newborn stem cell company. Founded in 1992, CBR is entrusted by parents with storing samples from more than 500,000 children. CBR is dedicated to advancing the clinical application of cord blood stem cells by partnering with institutions to establish FDA-regulated clinical trials for conditions that have no cure today.
What is the process of cord blood banking?
So, how will this all go down if we decide to bank our baby’s cord blood? Well, it happens in 5 easy steps, as depicted on CBR’s website:
- Enroll with CBR
- Get a Collection Kit
- Give it to the doctor before delivery
- Call the courier
We have a few months to continue researching and deciding the right path for our family and Baby #3, but I can already see so many benefits to cord blood banking, like the sheer fact that these young, healthy cells could save my baby’s life one day in fighting a disease. I am so much more knowledgeable about the subject than I was with the other two kids, so hopefully, this will be one of the easy pregnancy decisions for us. That triple stroller on the other hand…..
To find out more about cord blood banking, Cord Blood Registry, or Cord Blood Awareness Month, visit https://blog.cordblood.com/2017/07/cord-blood-awareness-month-2017/