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I’m three babies deep now, so the delivery process isn’t as mysterious and foreign to me now, as it was with my first baby. I remember staying up late and watching A Baby Story (apparently they are bringing it back!) at 2am on TLC. I was trying to mentally prepare myself for this unknown, magical experience that was going to happen to my body. Of course my hospital bag was packed three months too early (my first baby was a week late), and I was packed for a week stay at a hotel. My new baby had five outfits and seven hats. All were way too big.
I prepared for my first labor by spending hours and hours on Pinterest, reading everything I could. Making sure I knew about every car seat and high chair on the market. I NEVER ONCE thought about Cord Blood Banking. Not one little inkling of a thought ever entered my mind. I guess it never popped up in my feed, or was mentioned by other moms, so I never planned on answering any questions revolving around my baby’s cord blood.
At the time the nurse asked me what I would like to do and I can’t remember what I said. I honestly don’t know if I said yes or not. How not okay is that?! Had I prepared to be asked this, I’m sure I would’ve made a more educated decision! It’s actually an important topic that all expecting moms need to be aware of in order to make the right choice for them.
First, let me tell you what Cord Blood is. Well, actually, let me quote what cordblood.com says, because they explain it best,
“Cord blood, which contains powerful stem cells, comes from a newborn’s umbilical cord and is collected immediately after birth. Once the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, the remaining blood in the umbilical cord is drawn into a collection bag” See more.
Basically, the blood left in the umbilical cord of your baby is stored for later use. This blood in particular is full of healing powers. It’s the stem cells in the blood that are exciting because they are younger and more flexible than adult stem cells. When they are stored, they are preserved in the sense that they don’t age, but stay newborn cells until they are needed.
What is Cord Blood used for?
In the treatment of over 80 diseases. Some of these include Blood Disorders, Cancers, Immune Disorders and Metabolic Disorders.
Cord Blood is also being researched for potential use in Regenerative Medicine, involves regenerating tissues for conditions that currently have no cure.
For my second and third babies, I said yes to Cord Banking. I can’t imagine if there were a terrible health scare with one of my boys, and not having every possible option available to make them better. That includes Cord Blood in my mind. I am not that great of a planner, but in this case, I opted for a safety in case of the worse situation. There may be other issues you find with the cord banking process, but I decided to err on the side of caution and preserve some stem cells that may help my children or someone in our immediate family.
What’s awesome is there is a way that you can prepare for this now, before the day your baby decides to arrive. You can enroll with CBR ahead of time. They will send you a kit in the mail, where you fill out your information and bring it to the hospital when you are headed in for baby. Hand over your kit to one of your nurses, doula or doctor to take care of the collection part.
Once the collection is made, you call the medical courier, and they will pick up your kit and transport it to Cord Blood Registry. Pretty simple and easy.
The most important advice I can give, is that you read and look into this option prior to getting to the hospital. Ask your doctor, midwife or doula their thoughts and if they have any extra information on the subject.