Friday, February 21, 2014

Deciding on Whether to Bank Your Newborn's Cord Blood Stem Cells

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central for the Cord Blood Registry. I received promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Offer has been extended to March 24, 2014!
Hey there.  Soon to be mom or dad?  If so, congrats on your addition to the family!  Having a baby is an awesome and exciting time, but it's also one that makes us anxious and worrysome.  Will I be a good parent?  What do I do if the baby gets sick?  Should I start saving money for college?  What if something goes wrong?  Is the house really baby proof?  Do I have enough health coverage?  It's scary, I know.  I've been there.  We are a family of 6 so I know the anxieties that come with being a dad.  The wife and I tried to be as best prepared to welcome our baby into our lives.  We read the books, we read websites, we questioned our doctors... but the one thing that we were not aware of is the option to save our baby's cord blood.  Now, I know it can be touchy subject.  Some are for stem cell research, others are not.  I'm not here to push you in either direction.  I'm here to provide you information... information that I wasn't aware of during the time of our little ones' births and it's information that you should consider before making a decision on whether or not you would like to bank your baby's cord blood.

So what's the deal with banking your baby's cord blood?  The newborn's ambilical cord blood has unique characteristics that make it different from other stem cells in the body.  Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are found in the umbilical cord and HSCs have the potential to save your baby's life.  Also, there is absolutely no risk to the baby or mother when it comes to collecting cord blood.  Despite whether you give a natural birth or a C section birth, there will be no additional risk for collecting your baby's cord blood.  Now, 90% of newborn stem cells are discarded as medical waste.  There is only one chance to collect the stem cells and that would be immediately after birth.  So you and your doctor will need to be on the same page to make sure that if you do decide to collect your baby's stem cells, it's done when the time is right.

So, you decided that collecting your baby's stem cells is right for you and your family.  What do you do next?  You bank it!  There are two options open for parents that decide to collect and store thier baby's cord blood stem cells.  You can go with a private storing bank or you can go with a public storage bank.  By opting to go with a private cord blood bank, your baby's cord blood stem cells are available ONLY for family members.  By opting to go with a public cord blood bank, your baby's cord blood stem cells are available to anyone that may need them.  No many hospitals are able to collect and store cord blood cells at a public bank so make sure you check with your doctor to see if it's something that your hospital can do before you make a decision.

So why even bother banking your baby's cord blood stem cells?  Well, stem cell research is still a relatively new field of study.  Because of that, there is not much knowledge out there for the public to digest.  Just know that the cord blood stem cells are used in regenerative and transplant medicine to improve and save lives.  In the last 25 years, cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 30,000 transplants across the world to treat nearly 80 serious dieseases in children and adults.  Because of this, further FDA regulated research is taking place to uncover the full potential of cord blood stem cells.  Can you imagine?  One day, cord blood stem cells can be used to regenerate and repair diseased or damaged tissues and/or organs.  And if you decide to bank your baby's cord blood stem cells, there is a great chance that you can have a matching donor waiting for you as opposed to searching through a public bank.

Cost should not be a barrier when it comes to preserving these unique stem cells.  That's why the Family Cord Blood Banking Act has been introduced to the US Congress.  The legislation will ensure that banking cord blood will qualify as a medical expense that can be deducted on your taxes.

Don't be left in the dark, read up and be well informed before making a decision.  Head on over to the Cord Blood Registry (CBR) and find out more about banking your baby's cord blood stem cells.  Also, if you do decide to do it, request information from the CBR at before February 24th (offer has been extended to March 24th!), and receive a $200 discount.  That's $200 off just for requesting information.  You can't go wrong with that.

So what do you think?  Is banking your baby's cord blood stem cells right for you?  Why or why not?  I would love to hear your thoughts!  Later!

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