How can you protect your child’s health for life? You’re going to be a new Mum or Dad – the best feeling ever! And did you know your baby will be part of the first generation that will expect to experience all the benefits of regenerative medicine?
Not many parents, or grandparents, know that baby’s umbilical cord blood may be key to unlocking the next generation of medical therapies, regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine promises to be able to replace or regenerate almost any damaged tissue. Up until recently, medicine has mainly offered support whilst the body self-repaired, at least as best it can. Regenerative medicine enables us to speed up, assist and even replace the body’s natural repair mechanisms, delivering a permanent, like-new repair.
Regenerative medicine is based on stem cells and your baby’s umbilical cord is probably the richest source they will ever have.
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after they are born and the cord has been clamped and cut. Cord blood contains billions of powerful stem cells that are already being used to treat over 80 different diseases and investigated in hundreds of clinical trials for conditions ranging from arthritis and tendon repair, to brain injury and heart disease. These cells really are the future of medicine.
Not only is cord blood one of the easiest and safest sources of stem cells to access, it is also potentially the most powerful. Stem cells from cord blood are the youngest your baby will ever have, meaning that they are pure and plastic, and can transform into almost any cell in the human body. This gives them a lot of regenerative potential. Your baby’s own cord blood stem cells are also their perfect biological match, so there is no risk of rejection, and they can also be used by you and most likely baby’s siblings too. Cord blood is your family’s unique and personalised key to the regenerative therapies of the future.
There is just one catch - you only have one opportunity to save this resource, in the precious few minutes after baby arrives, which is why it is so important that you start thinking about cord blood banking today.
So what exactly can these stem cells do?
Cord blood stem cells have been saving and improving lives for the last 30 years. They are applied across a huge range of diseases, from immune disorders to cancers, and they are even being used to treat conditions like cerebral palsy and autism.
To date there have been over 1 million cord blood transplants and the growth rate of regenerative therapy appears to be exponential. Cord blood is currently being investigated in clinical trials for the treatment of: brain injury; stroke; multiple sclerosis; heart disease and much more. In the future, researchers anticipate that they will even be used for treatments that currently seem like science fiction – things like growing replacement organs and curing diseases that are a death sentence today. The applications are pretty much without limit.
What is involved in cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking enables you to preserve cord blood stem cells for your baby and family’s exclusive use. They are safely stored in liquid nitrogen and available to protect your child throughout their entire lifetime.
The cord blood collection process is quick, simple and completely safe for both you and baby. It takes place in a separate room after the placenta is delivered and the umbilical cord cut, so it does not interfere with getting to know baby, and you probably won’t even notice when it happens.
When the cord blood has been collected it is picked up from the maternity ward and taken to a specialist laboratory for processing. Once the stem cells have been isolated, they are placed into liquid nitrogen storage. This is where they will remain until your child needs to call upon them for therapy, which will hopefully not be until they in their 60s and 70s, and begin to need a little help growing old in good health.