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Cord Blood Banking

The big day has arrived, your contractions are minutes apart, and you’re on your way to the hospital. The idea of finally getting to hold your perfect baby in your arms helps you through the contractions. Already your mind is dancing with visions of your baby’s future — first smile, first tooth, first word, first step, holidays, and sporting events. The furthest thoughts from your mind are the first illness or, should the unspeakable happen, your child ever became seriously ill.

cord-blood-banking.jpgNo parent wants to think their child might get sick someday but it is wise to consider the possibility. There is a decision available when your baby is born that could greatly influence his future health. It’s the decision to bank your infant’s cord blood. So much media attention has been brought to cord blood banking and it has become an issue for many parents.

What if your child needs transfusions? Bone marrow donations? Is there anyone in the family who can closely match your child in blood type? These are all questions that come to mind when a child falls ill, seriously ill. Each one can possibly be answered by researching cord blood banking. Research and education is key to understanding how this medical advance works.

Taking the time to educate yourself on this topic, whether you are a parent, expecting to be a parent, or in the stages of trying to conceive has become a new necessity. Unfortunately, many hospitals do not participate in cord blood donation due to funding constraints. Where cord blood donation is available, not all moms or cord blood units meet criteria for collection and storage in a public bank. However, private cord blood banking is available at any hospital to any person. Private banks provide expectant parents with a cord blood collection kit that contains everything their healthcare provider will need for the collection. Expectant parents should inform their healthcare provider that they are enrolled in private banking and should bring the kit with them to the delivery. Ask your Ob/Gyn if they participate in public cord banking through the hospital you will be giving birth at. If you plan on giving birth at home or in a center, there are still options available for you.

Your OB/Gyn may have materials available to you discussing cord blood banking. Often, the main materials offered are brochures which do not cover all of the information that is available to those who are researching this option. Most brochures only give basic information on cord blood banking, a company name, and phone number. While some of the information provided in these brochures is accurate, it is imperative to do your own research and when making a decision to use a certain company, make sure the company provides the most information with the most up to date science.

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