With the holiday season coming down upon us, we consider this time of year as a time to reflect on all of our experiences – both good and bad – from 2012. Some of us will have experienced new additions to the family, or get to support extended and surrogate families with their coming little miracles. The holidays have a way to show us all the light, as we make unwavering vows to protect our new little ones no matter the cost.
One of the ways we can fulfill that promise is to take precautions to protect the health of our little ones, which extends beyond finding a trustworthy pediatrician. Doctors are increasingly recommending that their pregnant patients consider using a cord blood bank, a place that can store a baby’s cord blood and has the potential to improve the health of little ones at any point in their lives.
Cord blood is the blood leftover in the umbilical cord following the birth of a baby. It was once considered afterbirth to be thrown away but medical research discovered that cord blood is actually a rich source of stem cells. These cord blood stem cells have the ability to develop into disease fighting immune cells if properly stored, or banked post-birth.
Medical studies have shown cord blood is potentially beneficial to improve the health of children suffering from leukemia, cerebral palsy, heart disease, spinal cord injuries, and several more conditions. Unlike bone marrow transplants that require a search for an adequate donor, cord blood can immediately be infused should the need ever arise. Doctors have also found that other family members can benefit from stored cord blood due to sharing genetics with the baby, which makes the banking decision ever more important to make.
The holidays are considered a time of reflection but for many of us, the season should also be a time of preparation. It is unfortunate but we can only take steps to protect our little ones from the outside – what goes on inside is beyond our control.