Cord Blood Banking: Myths And Facts You Should Be Aware Of, As Per Expert
Cord blood collection process is the easiest and safest for both mother and the baby in normal and C-Section delivery. Cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Read here to know more.
A baby's umbilical cord contains blood-forming stem cells which can rebuild the immune system
- Cord blood may be accessed more quickly than stem cells
- Cord blood collection is safe for both mother and the baby
- It can secure baby’s future but also your extended family’s health
As a parent to be, there are multiple things on your mind to consider and plan before the little one arrives. Between scan appointments and packing hospital bags, you certainly are on the lookout for the best for your baby. Every mother is always anxious to give birth to a healthy baby and assure that it has a healthy future. When you want to give it a healthy future, you need to think about life saving benefits. One of the most important decision which is made at birth for the baby and its family is preserving its cord blood from umbilical cord. The umbilical cord, which connects the baby and the mother in womb has life-saving benefits.
After the birth of the baby, the blood left in the umbilical cord has life-saving cells that can potentially treat over 80 medical conditions pertaining to blood disorders. Cord Blood Banking is the procedure of safely collecting blood from umbilical cord and placenta and preserving it in a sterile environment, thereby ensuring access to stem cells for one's lifetime.
The stem cells which is preserved can be used for blood related disorders. In simple words, stem cells can act like the body's own repair kit and help the body heal from life threatening diseases.
With several advancements, community cord-blood banking is a frontier in medical practice that will help secure not just your baby's future but also your extended family's health. Despite its benefits, there remains many common misconceptions about cord blood banking. Dr Anjali Kumar, Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology, C K Birla Hospital, Gurgaon debunks the myths and facts about Cord Blood banking.
Cord blood banking: Myths and facts you must know
Myth: Collecting cord blood can intervene during the process of delivery of a baby
Fact: Cord blood collection process is the easiest and safest for both mother and the baby in normal and C-Section delivery. Cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The cord blood that is collected is blood that would normally be discarded after birth, so collection doesn't affect your baby's blood supply during pregnancy or delivery.
Myth: Cord Blood is not a preferred source of stem cells as compared to Bone Marrow and other source of stem cells for transplant
Fact: Cord Blood extracted from baby's umbilical cord is rich and can be easily available for the family and the child if preserved at birth. Incase of bone marrow or other source of stem cells, the donor has to be registered and should be a match to the family. Cord blood may be accessed more quickly than stem cells from an adult donor who may have registered for donation years ago. The donor must be located, consented, tested and harvested. The extraction of stem cells through Bone Marrow can be painful as well.
Myth: Banking of Cord Tissue is also a great source for stem cell treatment
Fact: According to The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines commercial banking of Cord Tissue is not permitted to be collected and preserved.
Myth: Cord blood is a medical waste that has no value.
Fact: A baby's umbilical cord contains blood-forming stem cells which be transplanted and rebuild the immune system and bone marrow by saving a patient life with a certain life-threatening condition such as leukemia, lymphoma or thalassemia. Infusion of these cells can also treat patients with inherited genetic disorders, bone marrow failure or inherited immune deficiency.
Myth: It's easy to find a cord blood donor, hence we need not bank!
Fact: It is difficult to find a matching donor of Indian origin of the times hence its important to bank baby's umbilical cord. Incase even if a match is found, it can also be incredibly costly to obtain donor stem cells. The cost to obtain a unit of stem cells can be anywhere between 15-20 lakhs and upwards.
(Dr Anjali Kumar, Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology, C K Birla Hospital, Gurgaon)
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