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What are Umbilical Cord Stem Cells?

Most people have a general understanding of what an umbilical cord is, even if they have never had a baby before. What most people aren’t aware of is what is inside the umbilical cord or what it is made of. If you are pregnant and have been considering cord blood banking or cord blood donation, you most likely have come across the term umbilical cord stem cells, which may not be as familiar to you. So what are umbilical cord stem cells? Today, we are going to discuss what these stem cells are, how they are collected, and why they are so valuable.

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

So the main question is, what are umbilical cord stem cells? The answer is simple, but there are a lot of details that are important in understanding what cord stem cells are. Umbilical cord stem cells are found in the umbilical cord blood and placenta after giving birth. Since cord blood and placental tissue are such rich sources of stem cells, many families choose to collect and store their baby’s cord blood for future medical use.
So why is cord blood rich in stem cells? During labor, the body naturally boosts the immune system of the mother and baby via the maternal-fetal transfer of cells—the same cells responsible for the development of your baby’s organs, tissue, and immune system. This is why cord blood is collected immediately after birth.
Stem cells are the foundation of our immune system, which is why umbilical cord blood stem cells are so valuable. They have the ability to divide and renew themselves into specific types of specialized cells. They also reproduce red blood cells and boost the immune system by repopulating damaged blood cells. The stem cells found in cord blood are currently being used to regenerate organ tissue, blood, and the immune system that may help to treat cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, and bone marrow disorders.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are often referred to as a “safer” alternative to bone marrow transplants that are used to treat the same types of disorders or diseases as mentioned above.

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

As we mentioned, the umbilical cord is typically (and routinely) thrown away unless the parents choose to store or donate it. The decision to store the stem cells should be made at least three months before your baby’s due date so you can adequately prepare for cord blood storage or donation.
One of the most commonly asked questions about cord blood banking is, “does it hurt?” and the answer is no. Cord blood banking is not painful to the mother or the baby and can be collected in under ten minutes. Details of the cord blood collection are typically handled by the cord blood bank but should be discussed with your doctor as well.
You might be wondering how the umbilical cord blood stem cells are collected. As previously mentioned, the process is pretty quick and is collected by the health team who use a sterile needle to draw the blood from the umbilical vessels. Once extracted, the blood is properly packaged and sent to your cord blood bank for long-term storage.

Why Bank?

So you have all of the information on what umbilical cord stem cells are and how they are collected, so you might be wondering why parents choose to preserve their baby’s stem cells. Well, a baby is a 100% match to their own stem cells, which can be used to treat non-genetic diseases and cancers. They can also be used for siblings and immediate family members. Treatments using a family member’s cells can be twice as successful as those of a non-relative donor.


If you are considering cord blood banking or simply want to know more about the process or other types of stem cell banking, do not hesitate to contact us.
Remember that when it comes to banking your newborn’s stem cells, you only have one chance to do so and get it right and that is why more and more parents choose CellSave Family Stem Cell Bank.

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Join the millions of families that are taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve their powerful newborn’s stem cells at birth.