The blood in your baby’s umbilical cord is called cord blood. Research has shown that the stem cells found in cord blood can be used to treat a variety of life threatening diseases. These include leukemia, certain cancers, and blood/immune system disorders. Usually, cord blood is discarded after delivery. You may choose to have your baby’s cord blood collected and stored at a private bank for future use by the donor or their family (at a cost). Cord blood may also be donated to a public bank to be used on other critically ill (non-related) patients.
Choosing to save your baby’s cord blood or donate it to a public bank is a very personal decision that only you can make. Below are a few links that can help you make a more informed decision:
- National Marrow Donor Program
- ITxM Clinical Services, Glenview, IL
- Cord Blood Registry
- Cryo-cell International
- Cord Blood Presentation
Note: If you want to collect your baby’s cord blood, this decision should be made by the time you have reached the 34th week of pregnancy. You will need time to order your supplies and have them available at delivery.