*This post is sponsored by Cord Blood Registry, but the opinions expressed here are my own*
Cord blood banking has been something that I have heard about off and on over the last few years. However, while I have been interested, it has also been something I have felt was beyond my reach. Over the last 12 months, I have come to realize all the potential benefits that come with cord blood banking with CBR.
What is Cord Blood Banking?
Through Cord Blood Registry (CBR) your newborn’s stem cells can be preserved for later use n case they or an immediate family member is diagnosed with a condition that is treated with stem cells. These stem cells come from the baby’s umbilical cord which is made up of both tissue and blood that are rich in these powerful stem cells.
I was surprised to discover that cord blood has been used for over 30 years to treat over 80 serious diseases including certain blood cancers, immune and metabolic disorders and other conditions relating to blood. They are even currently researching how cord blood could possibly help with autism, hearing loss and cerebral palsy! Check THIS link for cord blood uses and research.
Why CBR is important to me
I’ve learned first-hand that life can be unexpected. When I was pregnant with my third child, we were told that the baby had significant kidney problems that could create a need for an early birth or immediate treatment as a newborn. Thankfully, he was born healthy and we were able to monitor his kidney’s through ultrasounds for the next few years. While his right kidney healed completely, his left was only about 25% functional, but wasn’t causing any problems. Therefore, there was no need for any invasive treatments. 12 months ago, his little body decided it could no longer function properly with a partially dead kidney and his urologist told us that he needed surgery to remove it or he would go into septic shock.
While putting a 6 year old through major surgery was stressful, the thought of something happening to my son’s only functioning kidney is even more terrifying. People live long, healthy lives with one kidney all the time. But what happens if something damages his one good kidney and he needs a transplant? What if his body rejects the new kidney or he encounters complications that cause other issues? While I know we may not be able use his cord blood for his condition, it has taught me that unexpected things can happen. Cord blood is being researched for a variety of unexpected conditions today that may occur over a lifetime, like stroke and heart disease and I feel good knowing that my family may have access to this resource in the future.
WHAT IF YOUR FAMILY IS PERFECTLY HEALTHY?
We never know what life will throw at us. And while I will pray every day that no one in my family will need a stem cell transplant or a possible stem cell therapy that may be available in the future, if we decide to keep growing our family, cord blood banking with CBR will be a part of that plan. I know I will feel better having banked my child’s newborn stem cells and that our family may have an option that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
During the last 30 years more than 40,000 cord blood transplants using cord blood from public and private banks have been performed. That is a large enough number to make me want to become more educated on this topic.
Can my family afford it?
One thing that has kept me from doing more research on this topic over the years is the fear of the cost. However, the more research I have done, the more I have realized that I can’t afford to NOT bank with CBR. If there is a chance that newborn stem cells may be of use to my family in the future, then that is priceless to me.
Luckily, CBR is actually extremely affordable and also offers budget friendly payment options that will fit almost any family budget. CBR has also created a gift registry option where friends and family can contribute to the cost, either as part of baby showers or simply to show a little extra love while you are expecting. As we have had so many babies already, I won’t be getting another baby shower with the next kiddo, so we will definitely be utilizing the gift registry as a simple yet helpful option for anyone wanting to contribute a newborn gift.
PLUS, if a sibling or parent to a newborn has been diagnosed with a disease that stem cells are currently treating, that family could qualify for CBR’s Newborn Possibilities Program® assists families with a qualifying medical need by covering all costs of cord blood banking and processing for 5 full years.
Hopefully your family does not yet have a need for stem cells. However saving money is always a plus, so CBR is offering a discount code for $200 off initial fees when you fill in your info at cordblood.com.
Where Can I get more information?
Whether you choose to bank with Cord Blood Registry (CBR) or not, being educated on this topic is important. Advancements in stem cell science and research are taking place and having the knowledge to make decisions regarding stem cells in the future isn’t something to take lightly. Check out this quick video for a great introduction to Cord Blood Banking 101.
CBR is a resource for expecting parents in many ways. Their website will give you access to all the information you need to answer all your questions about newborn stem cell preservation. Simply head to cordblood.com. They even offer a social community and blog with educational information on prenatal nutrition and suggestions for labor and delivery, etc.
If you are interested in learning more, fill out your information HERE and you will receive a code for $200 off initial fees!
I don’t know what the future holds for my family, but I do know that if we are blessed with another baby, we will be banking with CBR to help ensure the health of those we love in the years to come.