Thinking about discarding your baby’s umbilical cord? Think again. The umbilical cord, or cord tissue, is one of the most abundant sources of a stem cell called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Preserving a part of your baby’s umbilical cord can yield an almost limitless quantity of MSCs, which could be valuable for your baby or another family member in a variety of emerging therapy treatments, such as treatment for spinal cord injury, post-heart attack heart repair, bone repair and cartilage regeneration. The Cord Blood Registry (CBR) provides you with the opportunity to save the cells in your baby’s umbilical cord in order to give you with the peace of mind in knowing that these cells could potentially repair your family’s future health.
How is Cord Tissue Banking Done?
After your baby’s umbilical cord has been severed, your doctor will collect a 4-8 inch segment and put it in the CBR CordCup. An express courier will then return the collection kit to CBR’s laboratory. This process of collection is safe for both mother and baby, after both vaginal and cesarean births.
CBR laboratories save the cord tissue segment and its’ containing cells for your family. Along with MSCs, other types of cells in cord tissue are currently being studied and may be useful in regenerative medical treatments. By storing the whole tissue, CBR is able to save all of the various types of cells. If the time comes when the cells are needed, the cord tissue will be processed to extract the cells using the finest technology.
The Progress of MSC Research
More than 80 clinical trials are in progress to test the possibilities associated with MSCs, which could treat a number of serious health conditions or common injuries. Although manipulating these cells in humans is in the beginning stages, MSCs offer unlimited possibilities. Common injuries, like rotator cuff and ACL tears, could someday be treated with one’s own cord tissue stem cells instead of with surgery, perhaps with fewer complications. According to clinical studies, researchers believe that MSCs could help regulate the immune system and may even aid in the treatment of serious conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
Your Choice to Make
The choice comes down to this: either save your baby’s cord tissue for potential future use or allow it to be thrown away as medical waste.