Cord Blood – A Life Saving Gift

Cord blood is more than just precious. As with breast milk donation it saves lives. So what is it then? It is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It is absolutely packed complete of stem cells, specialized cells that can be used to help treat and already cure diseases which can otherwise kill.

Stem cells contained within umbilical blood are used to restore the function of a recipient’s immune and blood-producing systems. They can be used in preference to bone marrow but unlike bone marrow are often quickly obtainable for use if needed.

In current times, the placenta and umbilical cord are usually disposed of by the hospital which delivered your baby. This method precious stem cells are lost forever. However, if correctly stored, your baby’s blood can be used if required by either your child or a recipient at a later date. Whilst the huge majority of babies will never make use of their own cord blood, many other people can assistance if you make a donation of the the blood by a public agency. In effect, you are making a donation in much the same way as you do if you are currently a blood donor.

To store your baby’s umbilical blood you need to register your intention on a private or public cord blood registry. If you are interested in donating your baby’s cord blood for the use of anyone who needs it, you can register here. You will be contacted by someone from the NHS after your 30th week of pregnancy.

When your baby is born you can inform your caregivers that you have made cord blood banking arrangements and request that the placenta is kept in a safe place for collection by either a public or private cord blood agency, depending on your preference.

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