Saving a newborn baby's cord blood after birth, most commonly known as cord blood banking, is nowadays highly regarded among the medical community as well as many parents, who are aware of the positive effects that it can bring for future sickness and medical conditions.
If you are one of those parents who decided to store your baby's cord blood with a private cord blood bank, signing the contract is just the first step. Here's a simple guide for a successful cord blood banking experience.
1. TLC for your cord blood collection kit
Without the cord blood collection kit, you will have nowhere to put your baby's cord blood sample so you have to take good care of it while waiting for your due date. You should not keep it in your vehicle for a long time, especially during summer months. It is advisable to keep your collection kit beside your overnight bag that you will be bringing to the hospital on the day of the delivery so you will not forget about it.
You should receive your cord blood collection kit after signing the storage agreement and paying the initial deposit. Cells4Life gives you the most comprehensive stem cell services in the UK and Middle East: volume-reduced storage, whole cord blood storage, CellsPlus storage, +cord tissue storage, placental cells and amnion storage. We give you a specific collection kit depending on the type of service(s) you will choose.
2. Clear communication with your doctor or midwife
It is important to tell your doctor or midwife that you want to collect your baby's cord blood (cord tissue and placenta) prior to your delivery date so they can prepare accordingly. This is to make them aware of your plan and make sure that they will perform the collection once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
After birth, once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, your doctor or midwife will perform the collection. The Cells4Life collection kit contains all the materials needed and it also contains a printed instruction on how to use the kit properly. The collection process only takes a few minutes and it is safe for both the mum and baby.
Watch Video: Cord Blood & Cord Tissue Collection Process
What makes the Cells4Life kit special?
The Cells4Life collection kit has a built-in cooling device called the NanoCool that maintains a stable temperature between 2 to 8 degrees and can last up to 72 hours while in transit. For cord blood samples shipped from the Middle East, we have averaged 19 hours from birth to arrival at the UK lab, without affecting the sample's viability.
We have shipped more than 150,000 cord blood samples using our specialised collection kit from 50 countries including United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, KSA, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, United States, Tunisia, Spain, UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Wales, Switzerland, Malta, Belgium, Andorra, Luxembourg, Italy, Scotland, Portugal, San Marino, and many more countries.
3. Ask for assistance when shipping the kit
Once your baby's cord blood is collected and the collection kit is properly packed and sealed, you will have to call your Cells4Life representative who will assist you by preparing all the necessary paperwork and shipping the kit to the designated laboratory.
The cord blood sample is processed immediately upon arrival to the lab. Our processing lab operates 24/7, 365 days a year - even on weekends and holidays. Initial testing will be performed and will be followed by a more rigorous testing before storage.
4. Wait for the results
It usually takes 3-5 days from the day the sample is received at the lab, to determine the cord blood's volume, viability and total nucleated cell count (TNCC). And after 4-6 weeks, all tests should have been completed and you will receive a printed testing certificate detailing the results. If there are results or terms that you don't understand, please ask our cord blood specialists to explain it to you further.
5. Settle your balance in time
Cells4Life offers installment plans and a variety of payment options such as cash, cheque, bank transfer or credit card. It is important to make your balance payment in time to avoid delays in receiving your testing certificate. Please feel free to discuss payment options with your Cells4Life cord blood banking specialist and they will be happy to arrange a payment plan that will suit you.
Watch Video: Step-by-Step Guide to Cord Blood Banking
6. Update your contact details
If there have been any changes in the contact details you provided on the storage agreement (e.g. email address, home address, contact number), it is necessary to let us know so that we can keep our records up-to-date. Our contact details is provided at the back of printed membership cards that will be delivered to you together with the testing certificate. We also send e-newsletters regularly to share with you the latest cord blood stem cell news and other company related information.
The success of saving your baby's cord blood isn't just the responsibility of the cord blood bank and the person collecting the cord blood alone. You, as a parent, also play an important role in it, and you'll do a good job if you consider the above points throughout the process! :)
Why Expecting Parents Save the Cord Blood
Storing your newborn baby's cord blood at birth allows you to preserve the precious stem cells within the umbilical cord blood that can potentially save the life of your baby or other family members. Stem cells from the cord blood is a perfect match (100%) to your child and there is 1:4 chance (25%) of being a perfect match to siblings. There is also a chance of being a match to the parents and other family members.
Cord blood stem cells can be preserved for a long time and at Cells4Life, we provide cord blood sample storage in multiple subdivisions that allows you to use just a portion of the sample as required and then store the remaining quantity until needed.
Cells4Life has released cord blood samples for transplant to treat various conditions - cerebral palsy, autism, perinatal stroke, brain injury, and more. We have more than 150,000 cord blood samples stored in our 2 geographically separated storage laboratories in the UK.