Umbilical cord blood has been quite the hot topic in the medical community in recent years, and it is attracting a great deal of media attention. This is also informing expecting parents of the latest trend. Aside from potential moral and ethical concerns, there is a lot to know about cord blood that every mother and father – particularly new dads – must be aware of.
Cord blood banking is when healthcare professionals extract blood from the baby's umbilical cord. They then proceed to store it in a private blood bank for a small monthly fee or donate it to a family in need. Many families are opting for this because it is argued that cord blood maintains an immense amount of stem cells, which can then be used to produce new body cells and combat specific diseases.
Essentially, it is prognosticated that cord blood will cure a plethora of medical ailments.
Like anything else, there is so much more to cord blood and banking that you need to know before you move forward with the process. It is important to be equipped with this knowledge.
Here are five things every father needs to know about cord blood and banking:
Your Child Can Battle Illnesses
One of the primary reasons that parents decide to bank their child's cord blood is because of the potential health benefits.
Again, cord blood is rich in stem cells and children diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, leukemia and lymphoma can be injected with cord blood and then replenish their blood supply with new and healthy cells. These stem cells can also allow a child to recover from cancer treatments.
If this is truly a possibility then parents usually conclude with: why not take advantage of it?
Banking Cord Blood Isn't Painful
Unlike extracting bone marrow from a baby, banking cord blood from a small child is less invasive and not painful at all. Your baby won't even realize that blood is being taken out of his or her umbilical cord.
A Brief Look at the Process
You may be unaware of what exactly the process is like. Here are a few things to know:
Remember, if you have any questions you must ask them to your doctor or physician.
Public vs. Private: What's the Difference?
When it comes to donating your baby's cord blood, there are two options you can choose: a public cord blood bank or a private institution.
A public organization is free and you can donate your baby's blood anonymously. Also, there is no guarantee that you would be able to access your baby's cord blood later on if necessary.
A private cord blood bank will cost you a hefty sum of money – initial charges will range between $1,300 and $2,000, and you will fork over an annual fee for the next 18 years. You can access the blood at anytime you wish.
Is There a Guarantee?
The chances that a child will need to access their own stem cells for a transplant are quite low. On the other hand, the odds that another child will need donated stem cells are much greater.
Moreover, it is rather improbable that your son or daughter will need to use their cord blood. In some instances, doctors refer to it as a lucrative insurance policy – but you never know what will happen as time goes by.
Akin to other healthcare matters, there isn't a guarantee. If your child does become ill or is diagnosed with a specific disease it may not be treatable with their cord blood.
Optimistic medical experts project that a large number of diseases, illnesses and perhaps cancers will be eradicated in the future thanks to cord blood. This level of optimism is what encourages so many parents across Canada to opt for this system. The cord blood could save their own child one day or may save another child's life, and this is what really counts in the end.