Everything you need to know about storing your baby’s stem cells is a paid collaborative post with cells4life.com. Keeping your child safe is the number one priority that comes with being a parent.
Thanks to science, you could help do this, the moment they are born. It’s called cord blood banking and involves collecting stem cells from the umbilical cord at birth and storing them for use in future therapies.
Your baby’s umbilical cord is an amazing thing – it provides them with oxygen and nutrients directly from you throughout pregnancy.
But, did you know just how important it can be even after birth?
The umbilical cord, and the residual blood that it contains are rich in powerful ‘stem cells’, also known as the ‘building blocks of life’. These unique cells could help treat life-threatening diseases, heal broken parts of the body, and even regenerate vital organs. They are your child’s perfect stem cell match, ready and waiting to help them, should ever they need it.
More and more parents are grabbing the opportunity to invest in their baby’s future by storing their stem cells. I’ve partnered with Cells4Life, the UK’s leading cord blood bank, to answer the most commonly asked questions about stem cell storage.
1) What is stem cell storage?
Stem cell storage is the process of collecting stem cells from the umbilical cord, and cryopreserving them so that they can be used in the future if baby or their close relatives ever need it. These stem cells are already the standard treatment for over 80 different conditions, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, and are expected in the future to provide therapies for conditions ranging from cerebral palsy and autism, to diabetes and brain injury. They are the future of medicine.
The collection process is completely safe, effective and non-invasive. It poses no risk to the mother or the baby and is a totally painless procedure.
2) What are the benefits of having my baby’s cord blood stem cells stored?
Storing your baby’s own stem cells means they have their own perfect match available should they require a stem cell therapy, with no risk of rejection. And it’s not just your child who could benefit, their stem cells are also a good enough match for mum and dad to use, and even have a 3 in 4 chance of being a match for their brothers and sisters too.
3) What are the current uses for my baby’s stem cells and how could they be used in the future?
Umbilical cord stem cells are currently used to treat over 80 different blood and immune diseases, including leukaemia, neuroblastoma, and sickle cell anaemia.
However, the most exciting developments are in the field of regenerative medicine. Researchers and clinicians are investigating the application of umbilical cord stem cells for a huge range of conditions in thousands of clinical trials worldwide. These include many diseases that are likely to impact almost all of us as we age, such as stroke, heart disease and arthritis.
It is now forecast that 1 in 3 people alive today will require a regenerative therapy at some point in their lifetime, so idea is that your child would have their own stem cell sample available to support their health in later life.
4) How much does stem cell storage cost?
The price for storing your baby’s stem cells starts at around £1,500. A small annual fee starting at £65 per year is also payable to cover the ongoing cost of storage.
With Cells4Life, parents can also choose from additional services to enhance the number of stem cells available and the number of treatments that your child’s stem cells could be used for.
Cord blood banking is rapidly increasing in popularity with parents across the country and is a key consideration whether starting a family or growing your existing one.
For more information about stem cell storage, visit https://cells4life.com/stem-cell-storage-faqs/.