What Is the Difference Between Stem Cell Banking and Cord Blood Banking?

The blood left over in the umbilical cord after you deliver your baby contains special cells, including stem cells. These special cells can treat serious diseases. It’s typical practice to discard afterbirth membranes and substances, but we encourage parents to collect and store cord blood. If you’re considering storing your baby’s cord blood, you should know that there are many benefits to doing so.

What is cord blood?

Cord blood refers to the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after you give birth. It is a rich source of stem cells and immune system boosting cells. Cord banking and stem cell banking is the process of collecting cord blood and removing the special stem cells and immune system-related cells for future use. The cells are frozen and safely stored until they’re needed.

What is the difference between cord blood banking and stem cells banking?

Cord blood banking is a catch-all term that refers to extracting and storing the special cells from umbilical cord blood. The fluid left in the umbilical cord is made mostly of special cells and doesn’t contain much actual blood in terms of red blood cells. For this reason, cord blood banking is often referred to as stem cell banking.

When you bank cord blood, the purpose is to remove the stem cells and special immune system cells and store them. Both the stem cells and the immune system-related cells serve a purpose in medical use. They can both treat serious diseases.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the raw material the body uses as the basis for other cells. This means that these special cells can divide and develop into many different types of cells. Stem cells are able to replicate quickly and can become bone cells, blood cells, and skin cells to name a few. They can divide and become cells that make up your nervous system and serve as the foundation of the immune system.

These characteristics give stem cells the unique ability to enhance and aid in the healing process.

Why is cord blood banking beneficial?

Storing the baby’s cord blood can benefit the health of the baby, parents, and siblings. Cord blood shows promise at treating a number of diseases that may develop later in life. Should a parent, sibling, or the baby develop one of these diseases, cord blood can be used as part of treatment. Cord blood is FDA-approved to treat over 80 diseases, including bone marrow diseases, certain blood cancers, immune diseases, and inherited diseases. Some of the diseases cord blood can treat are life-threatening. In this case, cord blood can save lives.

In the best-case scenario, you won’t need to use your baby’s cord blood. However, storing cord blood provides peace of mind. It’s easy to collect and store, and it doesn’t harm the mother or the child. It’s reassuring to know it’s there if you need it.

How is blood collected?

Pregnancy is an excellent time to discuss and cord blood banking with top-quality OB/GYN Dr. Richard Bardowell. The process is quick, safe, and painless. Dr. Bardowell can collect your cord blood in as few as five minutes. It won’t interfere with vaginal or Cesarean deliveries.

Invest in your child’s and your family’s future health with cord blood banking. For more information and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bardowell, call our Burbank, California office. You can also use our online scheduling tool to conveniently book your appointment.

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