Exploring the pros and cons of investing in banking your baby’s cord blood.
They say that nothing compares to the joys of bringing up a child and expectant parents usually go to any length to ensure that a child grows up securely. Plugging empty sockets and childproofing the cabinets are among the few initial measures that parents take. But, a procedure that is fast becoming a popular investment for the future of a child is umbilical cord blood banking.
In a world that is rampant with diseases, understanding what could affect your child cannot be predicted. Umbilical cord blood banking is a procedure in which the blood from the umbilical cord is procured and stored for a fee in a public or private blood bank. This blood is abundant in stem cells, which are cells that have the power to transform into just about any human cell. If a child is affected with any diseases, this blood is used to treat and take care of the condition. This blood can also be used to save a sibling or a relative’s life when they catch any dangerous diseases. Stem cells basically have the ability to preserve and increase the life-saving cells that are destroyed after the baby is born.
Stem cells are cells that have the ability to multiply on their own and can transform into other types of cells that are required to combat diseases and ensure safe growth. The stem cells in the cord blood and the bone marrow are called hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). Some children are born with deadly diseases that can hamper their growth and raise questions on their ability to grow and live a fulfilling life. Such children can be injected with these HPC stem cells which can provide their little bodies with rich blood that can enable the growth of healthy cells to combat conditions like leukemia and lymphoma, among many others. In a world that is rampant with cancers, these stem cells can also help the body recover from energy draining treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. The cord blood cells act as a life saver in such situations, and are a proven source of blood forming stem cells for people with certain diseases. Over 6,000 cases of lives being saved from cord blood transplants have been reported in the recent years and this number continues to grow steadily.
Both cord blood and the bone marrow contain the same kind of HPC stem cells but cord blood cells have more advantages because they are less mature than the cells from an adult’s bone marrow. This means that the body is less likely to reject these cells. The procedure is painless and simpler than extracting cells from the bone marrow.
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