Before your baby is even born, the umbilical cord serves as his or her (or their) lifeline. Did you know that after your baby is born, that lifeline can give hope to others? When patients with leukemia, lymphoma or other life-threatening diseases need a transplant, cord blood can be an option and a life saver. How does it work? It starts with parents donating their baby’s cord blood to one of several cord blood banking centers. Then, the doctor will look for a donor or a cord blood unit with a tissue type that matches their patient. If they’re a close match, that patient can receive the cord blood.
Cord blood donation is completely safe for you and your baby. No blood is taken from your baby. It’s only taken from the umbilical cord after your baby is born. Additionally, your labor and delivery will not be affected. Today, 18% of transplant patients receive cord blood that was generously donated to a public cord blood bank.
Parents may also choose to store their baby’s cord blood. While donating cord blood is usually free, storing cord blood can come with certain costs. But, you’ll want to be sure to check as each state and banking center is different. Learn more at these websites: