What is Cord Blood?

If you are pregnant, you have probably heard of cord blood banking and been asked if you are banking your baby’s cord blood.  For many parents, this leads to the questions: What is cord blood? , Why would I want to save it?

Cord blood is the blood that flows through the umbilical cord, providing nourishment to your baby.  Once the baby is born, the blood is no longer necessary so it is typically thrown out as medical waste.  This blood contains stem cells which can be used to treat a variety of different diseases.  The blood can be saved at birth in case the family needs it for treatment.  It can be used to treat things like leukemia, lymphoma or some anemias.  The most amazing thing is some of the cord blood research that is currently being conducted.  Scientists are exploring treatments for diabetes, cerebral palsy, severe bone fractures and even heart disease.  Many of these experimental procedures are only possible through the use of autologous stem cells so can only be tried for families that have stored their cord blood.