Pregnant women face many choices concerning health practices that will affect their babies and themselves. One of the more modern considerations is umbilical cord blood banking.
What is Cord-Blood Banking?
Blood from the umbilical cord (the tissue which carries nutrition to the fetus in the womb) can be collected and stored. This particular kind of blood holds within it stem cells, which are invaluable in combating diseases whose treatments involve stem cell transplants – leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, sickle cell disease, immunodeficiency as well as others.
Where is it stored?
There are two types of storage centers for cord blood. There are public banks, which collect the blood both for patients in need as well as for research purposes. The banks usually do not charge for their services. The blood they collect is collected anonymously and given away as a service to the very sick. Any donation you give to this type of bank will not be traceable in the event that you or a family member needs it in the future.
Private cord blood banks, on the other hand, store blood for private clients, for use at their discretion. This service comes with a fee – but can be priceless for a family that has a medical history of disease.
Cord blood banks fall under the regulation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).