A newborn baby's umbilical cord blood is rich in young stem cells that could be used to treat many conditions such as fanconi anaemia, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, sickle cell anaemia, and more. Collecting the cord blood at the time of birth is a unique opportunity only available for expecting parents.
Instead to throwing away the umbilical cord, parents can opt to save the cord blood with a private cord blood bank to protect their baby and family's future health. Cord blood banking is possible whether you are planning to have a normal birth or caesarean, and even if you want to delay the cord clamping.
There are a number of online resources you can check out if you want to learn more about the benefits of umbilical cord blood and how cord blood banking works. Here are our top recommended websites to help you get started.
And if you have decided to go with private cord blood banking, here are some of the important things to do when saving your baby's cord blood at birth.
1. Inform your doctor or midwife that you want to collect the cord blood.
Let your doctor or midwife know in advance about your plan of saving the cord blood so that they can perform the collection right after you gave birth to your baby and after the umbilical cord is cut away. Many OB-GYNs and midwife are aware of how to do the cord blood collection but if in case this is the first time, our Cells4Life cord blood specialists can provide training and other useful learning materials on how to do it properly.
Watch Video: Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Collection Process
2. Bring the kit with you to the hospital on the day of delivery.
To make sure that you won’t forget to bring the cord blood collection kit to the hospital, keep it beside the other important things you will take with you to the hospital such as the maternity bag. We do not advise parents to keep the cord blood collection kit in the car or anywhere outside the house since the temperature can be very hot or cold which could damage the kit.
After the birth, when the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the doctor or midwife will perform the collection using the materials provided in the collection kit. You will be informed once it is ready for shipping.
The Cells4Life collection kit has a built-in cooling device called the NanoCool. After the cord blood sample is collected and packed inside the kit, the button on the NanoCool lid is pushed to activate the cooling system. It is a special container that can maintain a stable temperature of 2-8 degrees and can last up to 72 hours during sample transit to the Cells4Life UK lab.
3. Call us before and after the delivery.
Call one of our cord blood specialists on the day of your delivery so that we can be on standby and ready to assist if you will have problems during the collection process. Call us again after the delivery and when the collection is done so that we can help you arrange for the courier pick-up. We use a special cord blood collection kit that has a built-in cooling system (NanoCool) that helps maintain the cord blood sample’s viability until it reaches our lab in the UK.
Private Cord Blood Banking
If you choose to save the cord blood with a private cord blood bank, you will be have the exclusive access to your baby's cord blood whenever you need it. You can also choose which processing technology to use before storing the cord blood sample. If needed for transplant, you only need to file your request and the cord blood bank will release the sample and deliver it to the transplant facility.
Signing up to cord blood banking with Cells4Life is pretty simple. To get started, call one of our representatives to book an appointment. You will need to fill-out the storage agreement. Make sure you read and understand all the terms and conditions before you sign the contract. You will then receive the cord blood collection kit which you will bring to the hospital on the day of birth. After the collection, the cord blood sample will be shipped to our UK processing lab which is open 24 hours a day, everyday - even during weekends and holidays. You baby's cord blood sample will be processed immediately as soon as it is delivered at the lab.
Cells4Life processing and storage labs are licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and accredited by American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). Storing cord blood in our 2 geographically separated storage locations gives you more security. Cord blood samples are also stored in multiple subdivisions for more treatment opportunities.
We have more than 150,000 cord blood samples in storage and have released
Watch Video: Simple Steps to Cord Blood Banking
More Stem Cell Storage Options for Parents
In addition to cord blood banking, Cells4Life also offer to save a small portion of the umbilical cord itself which is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). According to research, MSCs together with cord blood stem cells, are crucial for tissue repair and replacement. With Cord Tissue Banking, you will also be able to capture stem cells not present in the cord blood including perivascular stem cells, vascular endothelial stem cells, as well as unrestricted somatic stem cells. Cord tissue stem cells are also being used in clinical trials to treat type 1 diabetes, alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, spinal cord injury, aplastic anaemia, and more.
Cells4Life also now offer Placental Cells and Amnion Banking. Placental cells harvested from the Chorionic Villi are currently being used in clinical trials for heart disease, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes and more. While amnion (the inner layer of the placenta) have been used to treat burns and wounds since the 20th century.
Watch Video: Placental Cells and Amnion Banking
By choosing to preserve different types of stem cells at birth with a private cord blood bank gives your child the best possible protection for their long-term health.
Want to learn more about our comprehensive stem cell storage services? Speak to one of our cord blood banking specialists now at +971 4 3116613.