A pregnant woman is connected with her fetus through placenta or umbilical cord, which serves as the lifeline between both. Shortly after deliver, the placenta is disconnected from the fetus and tucked inside the mother’s body. During this process, the umbilical cord will produce few drops of blood which is called cord blood. Cord blood banking has gained significance since it contains stem cells which are helpful in curing many diseases like cancer. The cord blood can be preserved at the time of delivery in safe atmosphere of blood bank, which can then be used for the same person or any relative of the person later.
The stem cells which are collected at the time of delivery may later help the infant to save his life from life threatening illness like leukemia, breast cancer and various other type of cancer. This phenomenon of collecting cord blood is called cord blood banking and it is necessary to fix appointments previously for cord blood collection process. The collected sample will be kept sterile in special blood bank which can be used for many years.
After child-birth, the cord blood will be collected from the mother’s placenta, as soon as it is cut-off from the infant. This process will no way affect the normal growth of the child but in actuality will help the child to combat with various diseases when he grows up. The cord blood can also be used for other children of the same mother after proper testing for match.
Special laboratories are available in many areas to collect cord blood. All you have to do is to inform the approximate date of delivery well in advance and call their office as soon the mother is admitted in the hospital, for labor pain. The cord blood can also be collected by the nurse or midwife at the time of delivery and should be kept in sterile kit. The blood sample will then be sent to the special lab center where it will be stored in special temperature to maintain the stem cells.
There will not be any pain for the baby or the mother during the process of cord blood collection. The infant is not going to lose anything since after all the blood and the stem cells will be wasted during the delivery very shortly the connection of placenta is withdrawn from the infant.
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Research is still going on to find out the various advantages of the cord blood. Various kinds of neurological disorders, cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, bone marrow transplant and immunodeficiency disorders can be treated by using the cord blood.
The mother or her relative has to pay nominal fees per annum to the special laboratory for storing the cord blood sample.