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At the Cord Blood Bank

Have you considered storing your baby's blood at a cord blood-bank?  For those who don't understand the term, cord blood refers to that blood that stays in the umbilical cord and in the placenta after the baby's birth.  Usually this blood is thrown away.  However, a cord blood-bank stores this blood at external facilities.

Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells.  These cells are distinctive for your particular family and your baby.  If needed, they could actually help developed tissues, systems and organs in the body.  Stem cells have the ability to transform into other kinds of cells throughout the body. 

They thus can spur new growth and new development.  In short, stem cells give physicians a way to treat afflictions such as leukemia or inherited diseases.  Normally if a person develops leukemia, he might be considered for a bone marrow transplant to treat the cancer.  However, with cord stem cells, the doctors can treat the disease often more effectively than with bone marrow.

In short, you should consider banking our baby's cord blood as an insurance policy.  You hope you'll never need it, but it's there if you do, so that your child (or other family) will have a better, easier chance of recovery.

Collecting cord blood is nothing to worry about. It's a painless and safe process, and is usually done in fewer than five minutes.  Your health care professional will do the process in one of two ways: through a syringe or a bag.  Using a syringe, he will draw the blood from the umbilical cord soon after the cord is cut. Using a bag, the umbilical cord will be raised, causing blood to drain into the bag.

After the cord is collected, the medical staff will process it and then store it in a lab facility that they normally call a blood bank. If the facility is a credible one, they will store it in a facility accredited by AABB ("American Association of Blood Banks").

There are very few down sides with having the blood bank store your cord blood.  No study has ever found any health risk associated with the process.  There is no pain or discomfort in the process. You should know, though, that there normally are a couple of fees associated with it. The first fee covers enrollment in the program and a storage fee for the first year.  The second fee is your yearly storage fee. The first enrollment fee could be anywhere from $900 to $2,000. The yearly storage fee is usually no more than a hundred dollars.  Also, most facilities will offer a payment plan for the program should you need it.

Even if you decide that you don't want to store the cord blood for your own use, it could potentially be used by another family in the event of a health crisis.  So if you decide that you don't want to pay the expense of storing it for yourself, usually a foundation or non-profit blood bank will offer to collect  and process it at no charge to you.  So please think about donating the cord blood, as there is literally no down side for you with this option.

To find out more about cord blood banks, you can ask your health care provider or just do a Google or Yahoo search for "cord blood bank."

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