David & Jane
Our Adoption Match Was Made In Heaven. That is exactly what it was for us when our birthmother found us on the ParentProfiles.com website. We had tried the usual newspaper ads and contacts through our attorney to find a birthmother, but they were all in vain. We found out about ParentProfiles.com in the fall and immediately joined. Although we had other birthmother inquiries along the way, it was not until February more ...
There's a current trend that asks mothers if they want to save their baby's umbilical cord blood, but what exactly does this mean, and why would anyone do this?
First of all, it's useful to know what umbilical cord blood is and why there's such a special interest in it. The blood as such is not where the interest lies, but rather in the stem cells that are within it. These cells work like those harvested from bone marrow in their ability to help treat cancer and other types of medical disorders. However, unlike bone marrow stem cells, they are collected quickly and painlessly from a newborn baby's umbilical cord within minutes of the baby being born. The baby by this time is already separated from the cord and so is not affected by the procedure at all.
So now you know what it is, why would anyone do this? Research is still ongoing as this is a relatively new procedure but the results so far so that the blood stems collected from umbilical cord blood are successful in treating pediatric patients who have a disease that requires stem cells and would be otherwise waiting for a suitable donor to become available. They can help in their own treatment, or that of siblings. Although parents don't want to think about their children ever needing such a procedure, the reality is that many parents are placed in a position where this is necessary and so having the umbilical cord blood saved is like an insurance policy that can in many cases help give their child an edge towards a cure that it wouldn't otherwise have.
The main problem with umbilical cord blood is in how to save it so that it is available should it ever be needed. As demand continues to grow for storage of cord blood, umbilical cord blood banks are stepping in to take care of this - for a cost, which is where things start to get complicated!
If banking your baby's umbilical cord blood is something that you think you want to do, make sure you do some research before signing up with any particular cord blood bank. Speak to the pediatric center where your child will be monitored before the baby is due. Find out which cord blood banks they have had any dealings with, and if they have recommendations. Speak to other parents, if possible parents who have had cause to use the stem cells they had banked, to find out which companies give the most professional and fast service. Whether or not you bank your baby's umbilical cord blood is a personal decision, but if you make up your mind that you want to do this make sure you bank it with a company that will be able to produce the blood immediately upon request should you require it.
There are no guarantees that by banking the cord blood will cure any disease should your child develop one, but if it's something you think may be a good "ace up the sleeve" just in case, then do your research in plenty of time before your due date. It's a once in a life-time opportunity so it's an opportunity you want to take advantage of, make sure you're ready to seize it!