Umbilical cord stem cells. Benefits every mama should know aboutMaría Arellano
The future of medicine: Umbilical cord stem cells
The future of medicine resides in your baby’s discarded umbilical cord, a most unusual place to find healing!
Where do umbilical cords come from?
The umbilical cord is the biological bridge that connects the mother and her child. It connects from the baby’s belly to the placenta, a spongy structure whose main roles are to provide nourishment and remove waste.
The placenta is also key in preparing the woman’s body for motherhood, generating hormones that help in the transition.
Healing using umbilical cord stem cells
You can preserve the umbilical cord of your child for medicinal purposes. Studies show that the umbilical cord is home to stem cells which can be key in reverting or treating over 78 different diseases.
Types of stem cells
Stem cells are present in certain tissues of the adult body. Among these are the following:
Bone marrow stem cells
Adipose stem cells
Umbilical cord stem cells
Positive medicinal uses of the umbilical cord
Stem cells from the umbilical cord have been used to help the body regenerate various tissues. They are also known to help reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system.
Positive medicinal uses of the umbilical cord include treatment of Alzheimer’s, sickle-cell anemia, various leukemias, care of cardiac disease and heart injuries, as well as Krabbe’s disease.
Breast cancer and AIDS are among the illnesses doctors are hoping to treat in the future using these stem cells.
Although bone marrow stem cells were the first to be discovered (year 1960), umbilical cord stem cells have recently achieved more popularity in treating certain diseases in infants and young children.
This is due to umbilical cord blood transplant’s less invasive procedures, a stark contrast to bone marrow transplants.
Who should bank their child’s umbilical cord?
When making the decision to bank the umbilical cord of your future child make sure to find an unbiased source of info!
Public versus private umbilical cord banks
There are two types of banks that can help you preserve the umbilical cord tissue of your child. First off, you should know that there is some controversy surrounding banking of umbilical cord tissue.
Mostly it comes down to the question: are the people recommending banking umbilical cords truly unbiased?
The promise of banking the umbilical cord tends to dig deep into parents fears for the future of their children, generally exaggerating the possibility of developing or acquiring a stem cell treatable disease.
Beware of how private stem cell banking companies have decided to market their services.
Should I bank my child’s umbilical cord?
Medical professionals have specific criteria for recommending that parents bank their child’s umbilical cord.
Some families are considered high-risk for the diseases that umbilical cord stem cells can help treat. For example, families that have a child who has had a transplantable disease are recommended to bank privately.
The umbilical cord is not used to treat the recently born child because if the baby develops sickle-cell anemia or Leukemia, the disease will be present in the stem cells as well.
This means that, generally, the umbilical cord is used to treat a sibling of the baby.
Need more specific criteria to make your decision?
Take a look at what ScienceNews has to say:
Just Who Is a Candidate for Private Banking?
Though perhaps outdated, results from a survey reported in 2009 offer a glimpse into the minds of physicians. When asked about their view of private cord banking, none of 93 respondents who perform pediatric stem cell transplants said they would recommend private cord blood banking for a baby who had a healthy older sibling when both parents were of Northern European descent. For parents of a different ethnicity, a still small portion, 11 percent, of the physicians recommended private banking — presumably because it’s more difficult for these parents to find transplant matches. (…)
Kurtzberg compares the decision to bank umbilical cord blood to an investment that could go either way. “If you want to gamble and see, maybe in the future it will have been the perfect thing to do,” she says. “We just don’t know that today.” via ScienceNews
Umbilical cord care and the bank
What to do if you decide to bank your child’s umbilical cord stem cells?
- Contact an umbilical cord bank.
- Ask for the availability of service: the umbilical cord tissue must be collected in optimum conditions avoiding bacteria and contaminants that deteriorate the quality of the tissue. This step requires costly materials and the presence of licensed professionals, be it realized by a public or a private blood bank. Afterwards it must be kept refrigerated until needed, which in most cases is an indefinite amount of time.
Remember, not everyone needs to bank their child’s umbilical cord and the procedure is so costly public banks are known to reject donations.