National Cord Blood Awareness Month
July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month! Celebrate by spreading awareness about cord blood and its benefits. Cord blood is the term used for the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta (afterbirth) when a healthy baby is born.
Cord blood has been around for more than 25 years now and is used as an alternative to bone marrow for therapeutic use in conditions of the blood, immune system, and metabolic disorders. It has an important and growing role in the treatment of diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers. Parents have the option to privately store their infant's cord blood for later use if needed or to donate it.
Cord blood is at an advantage compared to allogeneic stem cell or bone marrow transplants because it comes from newborns, and their immune systems are not yet fully developed. This allows for a less rigorous matching process between the cord blood stem cells and the patient receiving them.
It means preserving the newborn stem cells found in the blood of the umbilical cord and the placenta. After a baby is born, there is blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta that holds valuable newborn stem cells. Parents may opt to donate cord blood to a public bank for free or pay to store it for their family in a private bank.
Public cord blood banking is free and will provide life-saving benefits to a family in need. Once you donate your cord blood, however, you have forfeited the rights to those stem cells. If your child or family member is in need of cord blood stem cells, there is no guarantee that you or your children can use their own cells. With private cord blood banking, you own the cells and have full rights to use them, and it is always immediately available to you.
The third trimester of pregnancy is the time to learn about cord blood banking.To learn more, visit Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en