By Kelsey Libby
A baby is one of the most precious gifts of nature that a family could have. It is the source of ultimate joy for the parents and the rest of the family. Only by holding your child in your arms, you could have a true taste of parenthood. Many of us don’t even know that while a child is born, nature also bestows another precious gift in the form of Umbilical cord blood, which can be a source of joy for the same parents and the baby at a later time in their lives or for some other parents or persons in some other part of the world.
Umbilical cord blood basically contains stem cells which are very critical in our bodies. Stem cells are responsible for producing blood in our body, which includes red blood cells, white blood cells And the platelets. The only other source of stem cells is the bone marrow. These stem cells are of particular importance in diseases related to stem cells. These diseases include certain childhood cancers, immune system disorders, sickle cell anemia, blood diseases etc., where radiation and chemotherapy destroys good cells as well, so usually stem cell transplant is required for saving the lives of these patients.
After the delivery of a baby, placenta is released by the mother, whereas the baby’s umbilical cord is cut and clamped. Until recently, both of these were discarded as waste. However, now the importance of both of these has been realized. People have an option of storing the cord blood right after birth in specialized facilities or donating it right away to someone else. This cord blood can save the life of your own child or that of someone else.
Umbilical cord blood is considered as a better source of stem cells because it is easier to obtain and secondly, it poses rare chances of diseases from the donor. The mother and the child remain unharmed during the entire process. So, it is completely risk free for both the parties. An additional benefit for the baby itself is that if he/she suffers from certain diseases later on in his/her life, there can be an immediate access to stem cells from his/her own cord blood, which will be a perfect match for him/her.
A wise decision today can save a life later on. This is what must be realized by every parent before the baby is born. It is essential for the baby as well as for other people who can benefit from it.
Make sure you thoroughly research this topic to ensure that it is right for you and your family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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