If you have been in a diagnostic testing facility, a pediatrician’s office, or a fertility clinic recently, then you might have noticed signs promoting cord blood banking. The medical community is really promoting it as much as it can.
Wait a minute. Just what is cord blood banking anyway?
After the mother gives birth, doctors extract hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs, from the newborn umbilical cord, which survive outside the body and can be preserved for decades. Once the cord blood is banked, either in a private or public banking system, it can later be used to help cure a myriad of different diseases and illnesses, thanks to the fresh red and white blood cells.
Sounds like an incredible medical breakthrough, correct? Yes, it does. However, there are plenty of misconceptions about cord blood that prompt parents to reject the procedure.
Here are four misconceptions about cord blood that parents-to-be need to know:
1. No, It Doesn’t Hurt the Baby
One of the most common myths about cord blood banking is that parents think it hurts the baby. But the truth is this: it doesn’t the baby in the slightest.
In fact, the entire procedure, which only takes a couple of minutes, is painless and unobtrusive. It will never interfere with your initial bonding moments. It is simple and risk-free.
There is no reason to fear that your baby boy or girl will be hurt.
2. No, It Won’t Cure All Sicknesses
Yes, the medical industry has high hopes for cord blood. The results are already promising, and there are multiple case studies proving its efficacy.
That said, despite the optimism of doctors, nurses, and the entire medical community, it isn’t a cure-all method. At least, not right now.
Sure, it won’t cure cancer today, but with more research it will cure a wide array of diseases tomorrow. With the research done in the last few years, cord blood has proven better than bone marrow, they are more flexible than adult stem cells, they can be used in transplants, and they are natural treatments.
3. No, Not All Cord Blood Banks Are the Same
Another common misconception is that cord blood banks are all created equal. This is untrue.
There are generally two types of cord blood banks: private and public.
Public cord banks are for public use that’s free of charge and can be used by anyone else (there are some exceptions at certain hospitals in Canada). Private cord banks store your baby’s blood for future use, but it comes with an expensive monthly fee.
4. No, Your Baby Can Use His or Her Cord Blood
It is true that other sick patients can use your baby’s cord blood, which has some parents concluding that only other people can take advantage of their son or daughter’s cord blood stem cells. This is incorrect.
A large number of stem cell transplants using a person’s own cells are completed every single year for diseases like lymphoma or tumors.
Yes, if you donate the cord blood, you may lose access to it. But it doesn’t mean that your child’s cord blood can’t be used for a health scare of their own.
Cord blood is only advancing with each passing day, week, month, and year. The researchers examining its efficacy and potential uses are offering incredible results with each new study or test. But this can only be achieved through the heroic consent of fathers and mothers who are allowing doctors to extract stem cells from their child’s umbilical cord blood.
Like anything else relating to their children, parents may be apprehensive, worried, and anxious about what could possibly happen. Thanks to guidance, research, and conversations, moms and dads took the right step and permitted cord blood donations to take place.