If you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, you’re already wondering about the things you need to do once the baby is born. From trying to figure out a good pediatrician to banking your baby’s cord blood, there are a lot of decisions you’ll have to make.
If you’re planning to bank your baby’s cord blood, you will need to know more about cord blood banking. This article gives an overview of cord blood banking, and how it works.
What is Cord Blood Banking?
When a baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped off. There’s some extra blood left in the cut umbilical cord that contains special blood-forming stem cells. These stem cells are similar to those found in the bone marrow and can be used to treat many life-threatening diseases.
If the parents choose to bank their baby’s cord blood, the healthcare team will collect it, immediately after the baby is born. This blood is then, collected and stored for future use.
Cord Blood Banking Procedure
Once you’ve decided to bank your baby’s cord blood, you have to follow a simple procedure to complete the cord blood banking process. Below, we look at a step-by-step procedure for cord blood banking.
- Find A Reliable Cord Blood Bank
The first step is to choose a bank to store your baby’s cord blood. While choosing a cord blood bank, consider its success rate and the various plans it offers. Most banks have an upfront fee, that’s anywhere between $1000 – $2000. If you wish to continue to preserve your child’s cord blood after the first year, there’s a small yearly fee for it.
You can compare a few banks to narrow down on a bank that suits you perfectly. Once you’ve chosen a bank, you’ll have to enroll with them. Check out https://www.insception.com/, for reliable cord blood banking services.
- Get A Collection Kit
Once you’ve enrolled with a bank, you’ll receive a collection kit. This kit usually contains instructions for parents and healthcare providers, a data collection sheet, and materials to collect the cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta. The collection kit should be stored in a dry place, at room temperature. You’ll also have to take it along when you go for delivery to the hospital.
- Give Your Blood Sample For Testing
As per federal rules, the mother’s blood sample has to be collected and tested for any diseases, before delivery.
- Cord Blood Collection
Immediately after the baby is born, before the placenta is delivered, the cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord. After the placenta is delivered, the cord tissue is collected. This procedure is safe for the baby and the mother since the blood is taken from the cord, only after it’s been cut.
- Transportation Of Cord Blood
Call the cord blood bank’s medical courier service to come and pick up the collection kit. Ideally, do this within two hours of delivery. The medical courier will come to the parent’s location to collect it and transport it with care to the cord blood bank’s laboratory.
- Testing Of Cord Blood
Once the cord blood is transported to the bank, it is tested, processed, and stored within a few hours. First, the cord blood and cord tissue are tested for any contamination. Then, the cord blood is processed to maximize the recovery of stem cells.
- Storage Of Cord Blood
Finally, the cord blood and cord tissue are wrapped and stored in a temperature below -170 degrees Celsius or -270 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s said that cord blood and cord tissue can be preserved infinitely. Once thawed, they regain their vitality.
Benefits of Cord Blood
Some of the benefits of cord blood are:
- Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells, that can be used to save lives against life-threatening diseases like cancer.
- These stem cells can boost the immune system and the body’s blood-forming capacity. They’re beneficial for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
- Cord blood can also be transplanted to immediate family members, like parents and siblings, if they get a life-threatening disease that requires a stem cell transplant. However, this is only possible if the stem cells match.
If you’re planning to bank your baby’s cord blood, it’s advisable to do your research and find a suitable bank by the third trimester of your pregnancy. This will give you enough time to find a reliable bank and understand the cord blood banking procedure. Knowing things beforehand will make cord blood banking a simple and smooth procedure for you and your partner.