Cord Blood Banking
The American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends educating expectant parents about cord blood banking.
Cord blood is collected by your OB/GYN or hospital staff at the hospital where you give birth. The process used to collect cord blood is simple and painless. After the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut and clamped. Blood is drawn from the cord with a needle that has a bag attached. The process takes about 10 minutes. The stem cells within your cord blood can be saved for future use. Stem cells have the potential to help the immune system and assist tissue repair. Scientists are still researching all the benefits of stem cells. Once the cord blood has been collected, it is transported to a lab for processing and storage.
Some advantages of using cord blood to treat disease include:
- Stem cells from cord blood can be given to more people than from bone marrow.
- Cord blood can be frozen and stored. It's ready for anyone who needs it. Bone marrow must be used soon after collection.
- Stem cells in cord blood can be used to strengthen the immune system during cancer treatments. Bone marrow stem cells don't have this capability.