Benefits of Baby's Stem Cells banking

Benefits of Baby's Stem Cells banking

Baby's stem cells

When someone in your family is terminally ill, the foremost question in your mind is, “Is there something I can do to make this better? Is there a way to cure the person? “And in answer to these queries, researchers found that stem cells could be used to create any kind of blood cell required by the body. That’s when Stem Cell Therapy was introduced as a way to help the terminally ill patients survive the disease.

Stem cells are available in the body and the best source of pure cells is your baby’s stem cell. Yes, you heard that right; the umbilical cord that attaches the baby to the mother’s womb is one of the richest sources and can be used to harvest stem cells for future use. Saving it for the future would mean preserving the cord once the baby is born. This process of preservation for future is known as cord blood or stem cell banking.

Banking your baby’s stem cells will ensure that you have a way to save your baby or the family from harm in the future. Harvesting stem cells from the umbilical cord is safe and poses no risk to both the mother and the child, and there is no destruction involved. However, embryonic stem cells can be harvested only on destruction of an embryo.

Stem Cells - What are They?

Stem cells are cells found in the body that have the capability to grow into different types of cells like blood cells, tissues, brain cell, bones cells and even muscle cells if the body needs it. The cells are often known as miracle cells as they can be used to treat many chronic diseases and even reverse damage in some cases. They have the ability to duplicate and reproduce themselves unendingly. These cells help to repair and are responsible for regeneration of the body as well.

Since the introduction of stem cell banking, more than a million lives have been saved and the number of diseases that can be treated using stem cells is increasing every day. Saving these cells for the future will be beneficial to both the baby and his or her family.

Here are a Few Reasons Why you Should Consider Umbilical Cord Blood Banking.

Safeguard Your Family’s Health:

Among the many decisions that you have to make when you are pregnant, to decide whether to bank your baby’s stem cells is an important one. The umbilical cord blood is a rich source for these cells and they are considered the building blocks that help to build organs, tissues, the brain cells and the defense system of the body.

Preserving these cells for future would mean, you have a way to repair or rebuild the damaged cells in your baby’s body or they can be used to treat your family members. Those who have a family history of genetic diseases should especially consider banking cord blood cells. This will help them use stem cells for their family or siblings if they suffer from the disease in future. This decision needs to be taken before you give birth as the window to collect the blood and harvest stem cells is very small.

More than 80 Diseases Can be Treated:

Researchers have found that stem cells are able to repair and reverse damage for more than 80 diseases, which include cancer and other life threatening diseases such as lymphoma, autoimmune diseases, leukemia, spinal cord injuries, stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and others. Harvesting stem cells from the cord blood are pain-free, while harvesting from the bone marrow is painful and at times can cause other health complications as well. It is one of the best alternatives to bone marrow transplants today, as stem cells can be matched easily to the patient. There are fewer chances of the patient contracting graft v/s host health conditions.

Perfectly Match your Baby:

For any kind of a transplant to work you need to be a perfect match to donor cells. Doctors look for a 6/6 HLA (human leukocyte antigen) match when it comes to a bone marrow transplant. However when it comes to umbilical cord blood cells then 4/6 antigen match is enough. Your baby, his or her siblings and parents will all be good matches to stem cells if they need it in future.

No Disadvantages:

Neither the baby, nor the mother will suffer if you decided to preserve your baby’s stem cells. Not only your baby, but his siblings and extended family members can benefit from it. There are many diseases that can be treated using stem cell therapy, and they are increasing every day. These cells can be stored for a very long time and your baby is guaranteed the right stem cell match whenever he needs it.

Banking your baby’s stem cells is a wise decision to make, what with the kind of diseases one suffers from these days is on the rise. To get ready you need to select a cord blood bank months before your term is over. The bank usually sends out information about their process and also the collection kit. They send out instructions to your gynecologist monitoring your pregnancy. After birth, once the umbilical cord is cut, the blood in the cord and the placenta are collected in a storage bag and then sent to the cord bank by courier. Once they receive the blood, the stem cells are harvested and then frozen for future use.

To choose the right cord blood bank, make sure you check for a few things in advance. Here is what you need to know...

  • Check to see what kind of facilities they offer
  • The tenure of the freeze
  • The kind of freezing system they use and how are stem cells harvested.
  • Is the bank a government or a privately run bank?

Umbilical Cord Blood banking is safe and non-invasive way to arrange for your baby’s future health. Consult Best Gynecologists in Hyderabad or Best Pediatricians in Hyderabad when you need to decide on the right cord blood bank to register with.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad