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Common Myths About Cord Blood Banking

There are many misconceptions about banking your baby’s cord blood. Find out the most common myths so you can make an informed decision about your birth here.

Published by Anja Health on

September 13, 2022

— Updated on

September 13, 2022

Stem cells are unique because they are the only cell type in the body that can develop into other types of cells. Due to this, stem cells are used to treat different injuries, diseases, illnesses, and more clinical trials are underway for more uses in the future.

The global cord blood industry took off in the early 1990s with the formation of several leading cord blood banks in the United States. However, the history of stem cell transplantation begins earlier than that, with the first successful cord blood stem cell transplant in Paris, France, in 1988 to treat Fanconi Anemia.

Even with a long history, some myths are still associated with cord blood banking. Due to these myths and misconceptions, many families may miss the potential benefits of saving umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord tissue, and/or placenta for future cell-based treatments.

Choosing to save your umbilical cord and/or placenta stem cells could be a life-saving decision. You want to ensure accurate information about the process and possibilities. Ahead, we cover some common myths and misconceptions about cord blood banking.

A brief overview

Cord blood banking involves storing the remaining blood from the umbilical cord and/or placenta after a baby's birth. Parents who wish to bank after birth should plan with their healthcare provider to take the proper steps to preserve this blood correctly. Cord blood can be saved whether the delivery is vaginally or via c-section. It is a painless procedure for both the baby and the birth parent.

After birth, the umbilical cord is cut to separate the birth parent from the baby. After it has been cut, a needle is inserted to drain the remaining blood, and the needle does not go anywhere near the baby or the birth parent. This blood will be collected and used for testing if needed, but if storage is requested, it will be sent to the appropriate lab for long-term storage.

6 commons myths about cord blood banking

1. Cord blood banking can hurt my baby

The first myth is that banking can harm the baby. This is untrue, as there is no exposure to the baby to any part of the process. In fact, cord blood banking may benefit the baby's future health. Cord blood banking involves the insertion of a needle into the umbilical cord after it has been cut, so there is no exposure to the baby during this procedure. The baby will not be involved in the procedure and will not be harmed. Storage and retrieval have no risk of pain or harm to the infant.

There is also a misconception that collecting cord blood deprives the baby of the blood it needs or that delayed cord clamping is not possible. In reality, cord blood banking does not take blood away from the baby, and delayed cord clamping is still very much possible—a practice that Anja Health fully supports. Your healthcare team will monitor and give your baby extra time to receive more cord blood while ensuring enough is left to collect. 

2. Treating diseases with cord blood stem cells is experimental

Cord blood banking is still incorrectly labeled as an experimental or new process which is not the case. The first cord blood transplant occurred in 1998, and the first public bank was established in 1992. Cord blood cells are utilized for the treatment of over 80 medical conditions. As of May 2019, over 40,000 umbilical cord stem cell transplants have been performed worldwide. Well over 30 years of research backing the benefits and uses of cord blood.

3. I can only use cord blood for my child

The next common myth is that cord blood cells can only be used for the child it was donated from, which is not true. Cord blood can be used on many individuals. Banking cord blood can benefit the child later in life but may also prove valuable to other family members. Research shows that cord blood banking is highly recommended if the baby has a sibling with a specific disease. A first-degree relative like a sibling or biological parent can receive stem cells from the banked cord blood. Depending on the genetics, half-siblings may also be candidates for utilization. In some cases, family members who are further removed, such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, may be a suitable match after specific tests are completed. There are also public cord blood banks where the blood may be tested to determine if it is a match for a patient suffering from a disease who may benefit.

4. It's expensive

Cord blood banking is often not considered by the parent(s) because banking cord blood has historically been expensive and cost-prohibitive to many families. While some companies charge a hefty fee, there are affordable options, like Anja Health. The Anja Health Stem Cell Safe is $199 upfront, with storage plans starting at $35 per month for eight years (which covers twenty years of storage with the option to renew). When researching companies, families should consider what they are looking for and how companies can provide this service while being professional, reputable, and reliable. 

5. You can't save cord blood if you have a c-section

A C-section delivery requires a sterile operating room, meaning that bringing something like a cord blood collection bag into the room can pose a new challenge. However, you can still save your umbilical cord and/or placenta stem cells after a c-section. The Anja Health Stem Cell Safe collection bag is sterilized inside and out, so it can be safely brought into the operating room during a C-section. Your medical team will still have the knowledge and ability to collect your cord blood sample for storage following our detailed instructions included in your cord blood collection kit.

6. Finding a donor is easy

Many families choose not to bank because of the belief that if a donor is needed, one will be easy to find. While cord blood donation is becoming more common, finding a match is not always easy. Testing must match if a first-degree family member has not donated (parent or children) to find a donor. Patients with different genetic makeup, mixed race, or of specific backgrounds may have a more challenging time finding a donor, making it more critical for families to bank cord blood. Patients with Asian, African, Middle Eastern, or Hispanic have more diverse tissue types making it harder to find a match. 

Get started with Anja Health

Anja Health offers affordable options for cord blood banking. Anja Health understands the value of banking cord blood for the entire family. Reach out to Anja Health today for information and solutions for a healthy future.

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