What exactly is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood inside of the umbilical cord that remains after giving birth. What’s special about cord blood is that it contains an enormous amount of diverse stems cells, which have many incredible uses. Stem cells form the building blocks of nearly all parts of the body during the development of a child in the womb. Although stem cells exist within the body throughout one’s life, cord blood stem cells have some special properties. What sets cord blood stem cells apart is that they are collected when they are very young and unexposed to all the environmental factors like the many disease and viruses the child may encounter later in life.
What is cord blood banking, and why is it for me?
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Cord blood banking is a fascinating new service that allows you to save your baby’s cord blood and all the stem cells it contains for medical use in the future. The cord blood is collected after the birth has taken place and the umbilical cord has been cut. This is to ensure the safety of both the mother and child. Not only that, but it is an entirely painless process. The cord blood is then transferred to a laboratory where it can be cryogenically frozen. This allows the cells to be stored for a very long time without aging and without being exposed to diseases, viruses, and other environmental factors.
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Cord blood has many medical uses today, and scientists and doctors believe we have only begun to scratch the surface of what they are capable of. Cord blood has been used for more than 20 years to aid in transplants. Stem cells found in cord blood are also being used to treat all kinds of life-threatening diseases including certain types of cancer. Cord blood stem cells could also potentially have a very promising future in the field of regenerative medicine. This could mean that doctors of the future could use cord blood stem cells to help patients recover from previously permanent injuries like brain damage or paralysis.
Cord blood banking is the newest way to invest in the future health of your family. If you don’t choose to do stem cell banking, all of the blood is simply discarded and wasted. Stem cells are not like blood, where there are only a few types, and stem cells are typically only compatible within a family.