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If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant, it’s likely you’ve heard about cord blood banking. Those who haven’t experienced pregnancy might not be so familiar with this term. The act of “cord blood banking” means that a parent has opted to save the blood from their child’s umbilical cord and placenta to store for future medical use. This cord blood contains stem cells that essentially build up the body’s blood and immune systems, and have the potential to grow and develop into other kinds of cells that can repair tissues, organs and blood vessels.

These particular stem cells from the umbilical cord could potentially save someone’s life if they are stricken with a life-threatening situation, or suffer from various diseases.

There are two options when it comes to cord blood banking: donating it to a public cord blood bank to be used by others who need it, or paying a private cord blood bank to store your own baby’s cord blood for your family to use if need be. These stem cells can help treat diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and essentially any disease in which the transplant of blood-forming stem cells are the standard treatment. This also includes inherited metabolic disorders or disorders of the immune syndrome, and solid tumors not originating in the blood or immune system.

The decision about what to do with your baby’s cord blood is an important one — one that you can certainly discuss with your healthcare provider. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is always open to speaking with her patients about this area of concern, and provide her best women’s health tips on the matter. Storing the cord blood for your own use is somewhat of a medical insurance; it can provide you and your family peace of mind knowing that if perchance something happened that was a threat to the life of your child, yourself, or one of your other family members, you would have these important stem cells to use at your own will.

There is a fee to privately bank the cord blood for your own use — an initial fee to cover enrollment, collection and storage for at least the first year, and then moving forward, there is an annual storage fee.

Not everyone feels the need to store their baby’s cord blood. If this is the case for you, it is highly recommended to donate it. There are many options for cord blood donation. such as foundations, non-profit blood banks, medical facilities, and other places that will collect, process and use the stem cells to help others. You can also find out if your hospital is affiliated with a public cord blood bank. By donating your child’s cord blood, you could help save someone’s life.

You might be wondering if there are any risks involved with cord blood banking, and the answer is no. There is no harm nor any health risks during the collection process. It’s taken from the umbilical cord after it’s already be cut away from the mother, so there is no pain or discomfort involved.

Cord blood collection can be done with both vaginal and C-section deliveries, and it only takes about five minutes. That’s it — five minutes to retrieve fluids that could save a person’s life in the future. . You don’t even have to worry about bringing it to the cord blood bank, as a representative from your preferred company will pick it up from the hospital upon delivery of your child.

If you would like to speak with a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician about cord blood banking, you can meet with Dr. Ghea at her Plantation obgyn office. Call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment today.

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