The umbilical cord is the lifeline that connects you and your baby from the seventh week of pregnancy until the day they are born. Its job is to provide nourishment and oxygen to your child, whilst simultaneously taking away harmful waste products. Enabling you to nurture them through each trimester.
For most babies, this lifeline stops as soon as the cord is cut at birth. But, it could continue to provide protection for years to come. Here’s how…
Your baby’s umbilical cord, and the blood within it, contains billions of powerful stem cells that have the ability to heal, regenerate and save lives. Cord blood stem cells have been used in over 35,000 transplants worldwide, and today there are over 5,000 clinical trials investigating the use of stem cells to treat currently incurable conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s. These cells can be collected at birth and placed into long-term storage, meaning that your baby can take advantage of therapies using stem cells if and when they need them throughout their life.
Whilst cord blood stem cells are already the routine therapy for over 80 different blood and immune disorders, the biggest benefits are likely to be seen in the field of regenerative medicine. The aim of regenerative medicine is to repair or replace damaged tissues or organs in order to restore normal function. Stem cells are ideally suited to this purpose as they have the ability to become many other stem cell types. Regenerative therapies using stem cells are expected to cure diseases that affect people at different stages throughout their lifetimes, such as cerebral palsy, MS, kidney failure and arthritis and stem cells are also being investigated to treat injuries, such as spinal or brain damage. One-day they could even be used grow entire organs, like a heart, for transplant.
Umbilical cord blood and tissue are the youngest and most powerful source of stem cells that your baby will ever have. This means that they can change into the widest range of cells types and therefore are likely to offer treatment for the widest range of diseases of any stem cell type. Your baby’s own stem cells are also their perfect biological match, meaning that there is no risk of rejection and that they are ready and available should they be required.
Cord blood and tissue stem cell collection is easy, quick, safe and completely non-invasive. It should have no impact on your birth plan and is available with every type of birth, including c-sections, water births, natural births and inductions. The collection itself is not performed until after the third stage of labour when the placenta has been delivered and the cord cut, and it even takes place in a separate room so as not to interrupt bonding between you and your new baby.
Preparing for your unborn baby’s old age is not something many parents think about. However, you will only get one chance to collect your baby’s cord blood stem cells – the day they are born, so it is an important thing to consider during pregnancy.
Cord blood collection and storage is offered by a small number of companies in the UK, the largest and most popular being Cells4Life.
Have you ever considered doing this? Or have any of you done it before?
*This is a sponsored post.