They say pregnancy is a life changer but not many people know that it also is a life saver. The birth of your baby is a special moment for your family, the moment when you are not just a couple but also parents responsible for the life and protection of a whole new human being; but with that all-powerful moment comes to another all-powerful decision, a decision that could save the life of your newborn.
When you learn that you are pregnant doctors nowadays will recommend making decisions to prepare for ensuring the baby’s health. So many illnesses exist in this world that can tragically strike any family within a moment’s eye with no warning in some cases; which is why it’s all the better to listen to your doctor’s advice on procedures like cord blood banking.
Cord blood is a special type of blood found within the umbilical cord immediately following the birth of your baby. Once considered afterbirth that was just thrown away, it now is clinically recognized as a rich source of valuable stem cells. These stem cells have the power to develop into blood cells necessary for the body such as red blood cells to help carry oxygen or disease-fighting immune cells for protection from some of the deadliest of the world’s infections. Most importantly they are a genetic match to your baby’s blood at any point in his or her life eliminating the need to look for a blood donor; and due to genetics, it is likely that a member of your family could also be a recipient of cord blood stem cells.
Doctors will discuss cord blood with you often within your first trimester so that you have plenty of time to make a decision that is best for your family. They will stress that the procedure will have to be done immediately post birth to preserve the cells and their ability to develop. Hospitals worldwide including Canada have developed cord blood banking programs and the medical community as a whole is encouraging more families to join the cause due to the life-saving benefits that can come out of this one decision.
Your baby’s birth is a celebration of life and the beginning of your promise to protect your baby no matter what. One choice after the birth can help uphold that promise