No matter how many times we may hear about someone getting pregnant (or we get pregnant ourselves), it’s always a miracle. Indeed, none of us ever really get used to the fact that from two microscopic things (and egg and a sperm) and after 40 weeks of growing within a woman’s uterus, a baby is born.
Yet as scientists are making more discoveries of the many blessings that can come out of a pregnancy, one of the things that more and more parents are making a commit to do is save their baby’s blood cord. It’s a process that consists of collecting and then preserving the blood that comes from your newborn’s umbilical cord as well as the mother’s placenta so that the stem cells can be available, if needed, for future use.
So, if you’re expecting or planning to get pregnant, is this something that you should plan to do? Well, we’ll provide you with some benefits (along with the cost) of the process. Hopefully, this information will help you to come to the best personal resolve.
The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking
When it comes to the benefits of cord blood banking, there is one, in particular, that is quite significant and could prove to be lifesaving. If your child happened have be diagnosed with some kind of illness (such as leukemia, anemia or some kind of immunodeficiency) that required a stem cell transplant, rather than waiting on a donor, their own cells would already be available. Also, because the genetic makeup of biological siblings oftentimes tend to be quite close, the stem cells may also prove to be extremely helpful for the child’s brothers or sisters if they needed some as well. This can be especially assuring being that it is twice as likely that a family member will respond to another family’s stem cells better than a stranger’s.
Due to the fact that the likelihood of needing a stem cell transplant is not extremely high (currently, the odds are about 1 in every 217), this is a big part of the reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics does not strongly encourage parents to seek out this option at this present time. However, as more discoveries are being made in this field, cord blood banking is becoming something that is far less uncommon than it once was in times past. There are many people who do it just to be “on the safe side”.
Two Things to Keep in Mind About Cord Blood Banking
There are no real health concerns or discomfort that come with cord blood banking. As a matter of fact, for many, the only real “risk” that comes with the process is coming up with the cost to pay for the procedure; although many consider it a worthwhile investment. Many cord blood banks charge between $1000-2000 to collect the blood and $100 a year to continue storing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if your child ends up being diagnosed with a disease that is genetic, the stem cells may not prove to be helpful due to the fact that a genetic disease is already present in the blood.
Also, while scientists are still studying this particular issue, many people are under the impression that cord blood banking will keep stem cells viable for most of an individual’s life; however, many studies support that they are actually only good for about a decade.
Still, if there is a measure that can be taken, beforehand, to prepare you for the chance of your child becoming ill and needing stem cell treatment, knowing that cord blood banking is available to you is definitely a process worth strongly considering.