Cord blood & cord tissue
There are many things to think about when you’re preparing to have a child and umbilical cord storage is an incredibly important consideration. You only get one opportunity to store an umbilical cord at the time of your baby’s birth, whether you’re set to be first-time parents or are extending your family.
The umbilical cord is a precious source of stem cells that can be collected and extracted for potentially lifesaving uses in the future. It’s a painless and non-invasive process that more parents are considering, as most umbilical cords were previously thrown away at birth.
What is umbilical cord stem cell banking?
Umbilical cord stem cell banking is the collection of an umbilical cord after birth, the extraction of valuable stem cells from it, and the safe storage of these cells in a cord blood bank. They will be preserved in a professional facility and may be used in the future for various potential treatments.
The umbilical cord is the tube that connects the mother to the baby during pregnancy. After birth, it’s clamped and cut then usually disposed of as it’s no longer needed. However, the blood and tissue in the umbilical cord are filled with stem cells that can be collected and stored for possible future uses.
Umbilical cords contain around ten times as many stem cells as bone marrow, which is why banking them at birth is becoming a more popular option. One of the only other main sources of stem cell collection is from dental pulp found in milk (baby) teeth and sometimes adult teeth. Umbilical cord storage offers a unique opportunity.
How do you store a baby’s umbilical cord?
Using a professional umbilical cord stem cell bank such as Stem Protect is a safe way to store an umbilical cord. This should ensure all the valuable stem cells are preserved in the correct conditions so they can be used in the future if required. The umbilical cord is removed soon after birth.
Removing and storing stem cells from an umbilical cord is a non-invasive and painless process for both mother and baby. Generally, the way an umbilical cord is removed and stored at an umbilical cord blood bank follows these steps:
- After birth, the umbilical cord is always removed. The doctor clamps the umbilical cord in two places about 25cm apart and cuts it to separate the mother and baby.
- Blood and tissue from the umbilical cord are then drawn out using a needle by a licenced phlebotomist. Often at least 40ml of blood is extracted.
- The umbilical cord blood and/or tissue is then taken to our laboratory by a professional courier, where it’s checked, processed, and stored.
Reasons for banking umbilical cord blood and tissue
The bodies of most healthy people produce stem cells. However, other people don’t make enough healthy stem cells due to certain medical conditions and diseases. If your child develops such a condition in later life then the stem cells preserved from their umbilical cord could potentially provide a treatment.
Research has found stem cells from umbilical cords could help treat more than 80 conditions, including various cancers, as well as blood, immune, and neurological disorders. Banking umbilical cord blood and tissue may help protect your child’s future health. The process is non-invasive and harms neither baby nor mother, as the cord would be removed and discarded anyway.
Stem cells are found in the bone marrow of adults, but the umbilical cord contains around ten times as many. This is also a more invasive process that involves a needle and syringe being inserted into the hip to extract any available stem cells.
Dental pulp found in milk teeth and some adult teeth also contain stem cells that can be stored and possibly used for future treatments. This is also non-invasive, as you simply wait for the teeth to fall out naturally. They contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which differ from the haemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) found in umbilical cord blood and tissue.
How long can an umbilical cord be stored?
Umbilical cord blood and tissue can generally be stored for up to 25 years. Packages for the storage of umbilical cord blood and tissue vary though, and options are available with Stem Protect if you have twins or for multiple births. The stem cells collected from the umbilical cord will be frozen and safely preserved until they’re needed.
How much does umbilical cord banking cost?
Umbilical cord storage costs depend on various factors. This includes the processing, number of umbilical cords, initial storage costs, and how long you want to preserve umbilical cord stem cells. Get in touch for a free consultation and no-obligation quote to find out how much umbilical cord banking could cost you with Stem Protect.
Newborn screening uses genetic testing to check for and predict medical conditions your child may suffer from in later life, even before they show any symptoms.
With modern technology, stem cells can be stored indefinitely in safe and secure conditions for future use in case they are needed to treat pressing conditions, even later in life.