Storing your baby’s cord blood

When Jamie Triantis became pregnant for the first time she was advised by her doctor to consider storing her baby’s cord blood.

While she hadn’t heard about the process prior to her pregnancy, she soon discovered that the stem cells from cord blood can be used for the treatment of blood disorders and leukaemia, making it an appealing option.

“When I made the decision to store my daughter Layla’s cord blood, it was really important for me to know that the cord blood is a perfect match for her,” says Jamie.

“My Dr. explained that importantly, compared to an unknown donor, there is also a much higher possibility that the cord blood stem cells will also be a match for her brother Perry.”

“I certainly hope my children will never have to use it. I see my decision as an insurance policy for at least the next 25 years for Layla and Perry.”

The process is growing in popularity. I made the same decision during my third pregnancy to store my daughter’s cord blood, having not been as aware of the benefits of doing so during my previous two.

Pregnancy and birth is an already daunting time, and as with any unfamiliar medical procedure, considering cord blood storage can cause further confusion as a result of the unknowns.

To help make things clearer, we asked the Medical Director of Cell Care, Associate Professor Mark Kirkland, to answer some of the most common questions asked about cord blood storage.

What is cord blood and cord tissue storage?

Cord blood banking is the process of saving the blood left over in your newborn baby’s placenta. Cord blood is rich in stem cells – which are the building blocks of all cells in the body and can be used to treat medical conditions such as leukaemias for your child and compatible siblings or family members. You only have one opportunity to collect and store your baby’s cord blood – at birth.

Cord Tissue banking is the most recent advancement in stem cell storage. Cord tissue banking is the process of storing a small piece of the umbilical cord itself.

What does the process involve?

It’s easy to arrange your cord blood and tissue collection. You simply register with a cord blood storage bank. Once signed up you will be sent a kit that you take to the hospital. At the time of birth, your Collector or Obstetrician will collect the cord blood and tissue. The collection process takes about 5 minutes and is painless to mother and baby.


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