Pregnancy Articles

What Is Cord Blood?

By: Alan Jason Smith

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 body.

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 specific family.


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 delivery.

About the Author:

Alan Jason Smith is the owner of which is a great place to find cord blood links, resources and articles. For more information go to:

Read more articles by: Alan Jason Smith

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