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Benefits of Banking Umbilical Cord Blood and Tissue

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If you are pregnant, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the different tasks needed to carry and deliver a healthy baby. Proper nutrition, rest, and regular visits to your obstetrician are essential, but you should also consider potential issues that could affect your baby's health in the future. Many parents are choosing to store their baby's umbilical cord after birth. While surprising for some people to learn, the blood and tissue of the umbilical cord contains stem cells, which can grow into other cells that are needed to treat different illnesses and diseases. With this guide, you will learn more about the benefits of banking your baby's umbilical cord.

Stem Cell Treatments

As stated earlier, the stem cells found in your baby's umbilical cord can grow into other cells. During this regeneration, the cells will turn into completely different cells, which can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Multiple studies are currently being conducted to allow doctors and scientists glimpses into how these cells can be used to effectively treat disorders.

Treating blood disorders is one of the most common benefits of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue. Since an estimated 27 million babies around the world are born with a blood disorder, you should understand the importance of treatments using stem cells from your baby's umbilical cord and tissue.

Blood disorders may include sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and even different forms of cancer such as leukemia and myeloma. If your baby is diagnosed with one of these diseases, they will most likely require blood transfusions.

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue may also be an option for children living with autism. Autism may be an emotional/behavioral issue, but it can affect your child and your family's lifestyle. Autistic children struggle learning and understanding social situations, so treating the condition in any way possible is beneficial.

Thankfully, recent studies have shown children who underwent a blood transfusion using stem cells from their own umbilical cord saw improvement in their autism. Further studies are underway, ensuring more children and their families will see the benefits of these stem cells.

Donor Cells

Although there are numerous volunteers who donate their stem cells for others, finding an exact match for one of your children can be difficult. If you have more than one child, the benefits of banking your new baby's umbilical cord blood and tissue is even more important.

The stem cells from your baby's umbilical cord can be used to treat one of their siblings or other family members who are suffering with some sort of medical crisis. Having the stem cells already in a bank reduces the time and stress that will accompany waiting for an exact match for your family member.

Future Benefits

The use of stem cells to treat different medical conditions is still considered new. Medical studies and ongoing research will continue for many years to come. This allows scientists and doctors the time needed to learn more about blood and tissue from the umbilical cord and how stem cells can be used even more effectively.

Currently, research is being conducted on how these stem cells can be used to treat Alzheimer's disease, Cerebral Palsy, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and heart disease. In addition, doctors are using stem cells to treat patients living with a spinal cord or brain injury. These patients are seeing enormous improvements and have finally developed some hope in seeing further effective treatment for their injuries.

The thought of banking your baby's umbilical cord may be overwhelming or even odd, but understanding the potential benefits is important. Talk with a doctor to learn more about a biorepository and why these locations can be so useful.