You may have heard of stem cell research with all of the
political controversy surrounding the issue, but you may not
have heard of cord blood. Cord blood, as defined by the Core
Blood Donor Foundation, is the blood that stays in the umbilical
cord after birth. The blood is taken from the cord and placenta
after the baby is born, so the procedure itself is completely
harmless to the baby as well as to the mother.
How does Cord Blood Relate to Stem Cell Research?
The Core Blood Donor Foundation states that cord blood is an
excellent source of stem cells. Cord blood stem cells can be used to
treat leukemia and other cancers in the same way that bone marrow is
used, with a much less chance of rejection. So what’s a stem cell?
Stem cells are special in that they have the ability to develop into
many different types of cells within the body. The National
Institute of Health claims that they are a repair feature for the
What Can Cord Blood Treat?
Stem cells that are collected from cord blood can be used to treat
several types of disorders. These include several types of anemia,
types of leukemia, as well as many inherited diseases. The list of
diseases and illnesses that can be treated with stem cells extracted
from cord blood is too large to include in this article.
How is Cord Blood Collected, Processed, and Stored?
After the umbilical cord is cut and clamped, the cord blood is
collected with a syringe from the cord. Again, there is no harm to
the mother or to the baby. The blood is then processed and stored in
a bank. Different banks have different methods of processing, and
different ways of storing the cord blood
Can I Store My Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood?
Yes. There are in fact many reasons to store your newborns umbilical
cord blood. If you baby, or even a family member struggles with
certain diseases, the cord blood stem cells can be used to treat
them. As mentioned earlier, cord blood stem cells can be used
instead of bone marrow with significantly less rejection. Umbilical
cord blood can also be donated, instead of kept in a bank for a
Not everyone feels this way about cord blood banking, however. The
AAP, or the American Academy of Pediatrics, claims that there is no
reason for them to recommend banking your baby’s cord blood. Money
is the root of the AAP’s concern. The organization states that the
need for stem cell treatment is so slim that the monetary investment
may not be worth it for the family should the cord blood not be
needed. The AAP worries that emotionally aroused parents are more
likely to be attracted to the marketing of cord blood as a “life
insurance policy” for their infants, or for family members in
need. The AAP does, however, recommend banking the cord blood should
the baby itself or a family member need such therapy at the time of
Alan Jason Smith is the owner of http://www.cordbloodfact.com
which is a great place to find cord blood links, resources and
articles. For more information go to: http://www.cordbloodfact.com
Read more articles by: Alan