From immune system rebuilding and genetic matching to regenerative medicine efforts, cord blood banking can help offer your family additional peace of mind.
Pregnancy is life-changing. Along with a rush of emotions that can range from joy and relief, to disbelief and even worry, it feels like major decisions are begging to be made at every turn. Do you want a midwife? How will you agree on a name? Have you added all the essentials to your registry (and are those really even the essentials)?
Among these decisions, one in particular stands out, which can happen right after delivery and may potentially help benefit the future of your baby and your family: cord blood banking.
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and preserving blood from the umbilical cord (a.k.a cord blood) at birth. The preservation of this blood sample can potentially change or even save a life, as it can be used to treat over 80 conditions,1 from blood disorders and certain cancers to immune disorders and metabolic disorders.
In honor of National Cord Blood Awareness Month this July, we’ve turned to the trusted experts at Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®), the largest private newborn stem cell preservation company in the world,2 to share details every parent-to-be should know about cord blood banking.
Read on to discover seven facts about cord blood banking with CBR and how it can help your family take the steps to plan for a potentially healthy future.
1. Cord Blood is a Wealth of Stem Cell Potential
After your baby is born, a small amount of blood remains in the umbilical cord. This valuable blood (commonly called cord blood) is a rich source of newborn stem cells that have the potential to help the body heal and repair itself.
The main type of stem cell found in cord blood is hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These HSCs are blood-forming cells that can self-renew and help rebuild both blood and immune systems.
2. Cord Blood is Easy and Safe to Collect
Once your family enrolls with CBR, you’ll receive a collection kit that’s sent directly to your home with everything needed on your delivery date. As you begin to prepare your hospital bag, be sure to pack your CBR collection kit alongside your other must-need essentials.
After delivery, your healthcare provider will use this kit to collect your baby’s newborn stem cells after clamping and cutting your umbilical cord. This cord blood collection process is quick, safe and non-invasive.
Some parents choose to wait a little longer before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord, a process known as delayed cord clamping that allows more cord blood to flow back to the baby prior to collection. If your family chooses to clamp right at birth or delay clamping, the cord tissue itself is still rich in valuable newborn stem cells that may potentially be able to benefit your infant or family. So, you can collect both cord blood and cord tissue, or just collect the cord tissue.
3. Cord Blood Isn’t the Only Part of the Umbilical Cord You Can Save
The umbilical cord isn’t only made up of cord blood; it also contains a special tissue (called cord tissue) that can be collected at birth along with cord blood. Cord tissue includes mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that may potentially provide more treatment options in regenerative medicine in the future.
MSCs also have the potential to reduce inflammation3 and balance the immune system to help improve autoimmune disorders.4
4. Cord Blood Has a Successful History of Saving Lives
While the awareness about cord blood banking is growing—especially with experts and celebrities spreading word about their own experiences with CBR, like cookbook author Chrissy Teigen and board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Christine Sterling5—the lifesaving potential of newborn stem cells (or cord blood stem cells) has helped families all around the world for decades.
In the last 30-plus years, cord blood has been used for stem cell transplants, which have helped rebuild blood and immune systems to treat various blood disorders, cancers, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.6
To date, cord blood has been used in more than 45,000 transplants worldwide6 and can be used to treat over 80 conditions.1
5. Cord Blood Can Potentially Provide Your Family with a Healthier Future
When you preserve your cord blood with CBR, you’re helping to provide your baby and family with the potential gift of a healthy future. Your collected newborn stem cells are safely stored in CBR’s laboratory and storage facility located in Tucson, Arizona.
Your infant is a 100% genetic match to their own stem cells, and in some cases their cord blood can treat immediate family members who are genetically compatible. Samples have a 75% chance of being at least a partial match to full siblings, and are always a partial match to biological parents.
6. Cord Blood May Potentially Help With Future Medical Challenges
Life is unpredictable, and sometimes unforeseen medical challenges can arise. Fortunately, cord blood banking can help offer you peace of mind given cord blood’s potential to help rebuild the immune system in conditions like blood disorders, certain cancers such as leukemia, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.
With CBR, the #1 choice of parents2 and the most recommended newborn stem cell preservation company by OB/GYNs,7 over 700 cord blood samples have been released, intended for use by families in stem cell transplants and investigational therapies.
7. Cord Blood Banking May Also Give You Access to Medical Advancements
Cord blood stem cells have already played a pivotal role in the treatment of various diseases, but its capabilities in helping families and providing promising results don’t end there. As science continues to advance, cord blood is playing a role in ongoing research and advancements in regenerative medicine to help expand the possibilities of new treatments.4
In fact, over 80% of the CBR families whose cord blood units were released were intended for use in experimental regenerative medicine applications, such as cerebral palsy, acquired hearing loss, and more.2
For more information on cord blood banking, visit cordblood.com.
In honor of National Cord Blood Awareness Month, CBR is also providing families the chance to win their CBR® Bundle of Joy Prize Package.* This special giveaway includes free CBR newborn stem cell processing plus one year of storage, a SNOO® Smart Sleeper and SNOObear®, and $200 cash card (a $5,000 value).
Additionally, once you enroll, you’ll be automatically entered for one of two chances to win the CBR Baby & Me Must-Haves Giveaway.* This $15,000 selection of prizes includes free cord blood and cord tissue preservation, plus lifetime storage, a SNOO® Smart Sleeper and SNOObear®, a cuddle+kind bunny, a cozy CBR blanket, and more! Drawings are held 7/16 and 8/1.
1 Mayani, H., Wagner, J.E. & Broxmeyer, H.E. Cord blood research, banking, and transplantation: achievements, challenges, and perspectives. Bone Marrow Transplant 55, 48–61 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41409-019-0546-9
2 CBR’s internal data on file.
3 Fan, XL., Zhang, Y., Li, X. et al. Mechanisms underlying the protective effects of mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 77, 2771–2794 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-020-03454-6.
4 Verter, F., Couto, P. S., & Bersenev, A. (2018). A dozen years of clinical trials performing advanced cell therapy with perinatal cells. Future Science OA, 4(10). doi: 10.4155/fsoa-2018-0085
5 Chrissy Teigen and Dr. Christine Sterling are paid CBR influencers.
6 Wagner JE. Cord blood 2.0: state of the art and future directions in transplant medicine. Blood Res. 2019 Mar;54(1):7-9. doi: 10.5045/br.2019.54.1.7. Epub 2019 Mar 21. PMID: 30956957; PMCID: PMC6439299.
7 Blind survey, Egg Strategy, 10/19, funded by CBR.
*No purchase necessary. The purchase of any good or service will not increase your chances of winning. Must be a US resident over 18. See official rules for further restrictions and an alternative method of entry.
The use of cord blood is determined by the treating physician and is influenced by many factors, including the patient’s medical condition, the characteristics of the sample, and whether the cord blood should come from the patient or an appropriately matched donor. Cord blood has established uses in transplant medicine; however, its use in regenerative medicine is still being researched. There is no guarantee that potential medical applications being studied in the laboratory or clinical trials will become available.
Cord tissue use is still in early research stages, and there is no guarantee that treatments using cord tissue will be available in the future. Cord tissue is stored whole. Additional processing prior to use will be required to extract and prepare any of the multiple cell types from cryopreserved cord tissue. Cbr Systems, Inc.’s activities for New York State residents are limited to collection of umbilical cord tissue and long-term storage of umbilical cord–derived stem cells. Cbr Systems, Inc.’s possession of a New York State license for such collection and long-term storage does not indicate approval or endorsement of possible future uses or future suitability of these cells.