The Magical Mysteries of the Umbilical Cord …

Why would I store my baby’s cord blood?

There are so many products and services pushed to pregnant women nowadays.  Everywhere you turn, there’s a new product being pushed that you’ve never heard of, that you just HAVE to have.

Cord blood banking is one of these things.  It sounds like you should probably do it, but all the information out there is so scientific and for your everyday Mum who doesn’t work in the scientific sector, it’s a minefield.  

 

 

So why WOULD you bank your cord blood?  In short, it could save your baby’s life if they get one of 85 diseases in the future.  The treatments for these diseases are already in regular use in the NHS today.  The issue usually being that you need a blood sample that matches your DNA in order for your body to be able to accept it, and finding a donor with a DNA match to you from a public register is not guaranteed. 

But perhaps more importantly, there are hundreds of treatments and products that are in clinical trials at the moment, which could be much more widely used in the not-too-distant future.

 

These are for something called ‘regenerative medicine’.  This is where tissue (so maybe skin, heart tissue, eye tissue, brain, lung, cartilage etc) can be ‘cultured’ (built) using stem cells that are taken from the umbilical cord itself.  We’ve all heard of a bone marrow transplant…  This is a similar concept, but the chance of finding a donor is guaranteed (it’s your own) and there is no pain involved for the donor (because the donor is the umbilical cord, which would only have been thrown away after birth). 

 

In the USA, they’re trialling a ‘spray’ made of stem cells.  You basically have a spray tan, but it helps to heal burnt skin and reduces scarring.

There is even a gel being developed that can be spread on to a wound that will help the skin to grow and heal faster and potentially reduce pain. 

This all sounds very futuristic, but this is a reality for our children and the next generation.  It’s our responsibility to make sure that they’re able to source a sample that matches their DNA.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions! 

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