Frequently Asked Questions

If I donate my baby's umbilical cord blood, will I have access to the cord blood?
It depends. Once you donate cord blood, it gets put on a national cord blood registry list. Anyone who needs the cord blood can ask to use it for a transplant. If you should happen to need it before another patient needs it, then you may have access to your baby's cord blood

What is umbilical cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking happens when the blood found in a child's umbilical cord is collected for future use. Parents can choose to store cord blood at a private bank, or to donate the cord blood to a public cord blood bank.

Learn more about the difference between private and public cord blood banks.

How does cord blood help my child?
Inside your child's umbilical cord blood are stem cells. These cells can help treat a growing number of diseases and disorders, like leukemia and sickle cell anemia. If you bank your child's cord blood, the stem cells found in the blood can help your child, a sibling, or even another relative in the future.

Read up on the benefits of cord blood banking.

Does the collection of umbilical cord blood hurt my baby or me?
Umbilical cord blood collection is a simple and painless procedure. It occurs after your baby has been safely delivered and the umbilical cord has been cut. The needles or syringes used to drain the blood from the umbilical cord are never near you or your baby.

Find out more about how umbilical cord blood is collected. 

What is the difference between cord blood stem cells and embryonic stem cells?
Cord blood stem cells are harvested from a child's umbilical cord shortly after delivery. The process is painless and simple and in no way interferes with the health of the child. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from fertilized eggs that are in the early stages of development. While embryonic stem cells have a much greater ability to differentiate into other types of cells, many people have ethical and moral issues with the source of the stem cells.

Get more information on the debate about embryonic stem cells.

What makes cord blood stem cells better than bone marrow stem cells?
Cord blood stem cells are not necessarily superior to bone marrow stem cells. Rather, stem cells from cord blood have some advantages over bone marrow stem cells and vice versa. For example, harvesting cord blood stem cells is a simple and painless procedure while harvesting bone marrow requires anesthetic and can be painful for the donor. However, bone marrow transplants tend to take better than cord blood transplants. Depending on your ailment, one type of stem cell may be preferred over the other.

Read more on cord blood transplants versus bone marrow transplants.

Is it necessary for me to store my baby's cord blood?
The decision to store cord blood is a personal one with no right or wrong answer. If you have a family history of certain diseases or disorders, it may be a good idea to store your child's cord blood in a private bank in case you need it in the future. However, even if your family medical health history is as clean as a whistle, storing cord blood can work as insurance just in case the need ever does arise.

Learn about the pro's of con's of banking cord blood.

How do I decide what type of cord blood bank to use?
Figuring out which cord blood bank best suits you and your needs can be difficult. For help in making this decision, fill out our questionnaire. It will provide you with a cord bank referral that best suits your requirements.

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