Stem Cell & Cord Blood Banking Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to all your cord blood banking questions or take our 5-minute interactive learning course by clicking here. Feel free to reach out to us at hello@anjahealth.com to answer any questions not listed here.

List of diseases, disorders, and other use cases for cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta stem cells

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The FDA currently approves cord blood as a treatment for certain lymphomas, solid tumors, anemias, inherited red cell abnormalities, leukemias, inherited immune system disorders, bone marrow cancers, and inherited metabolic disorders. Clinical trials are progressing focusing on cord blood or tissue stem cells being used for acquired hearing loss, autism, cerebral palsy, congenital heart defects, Crohn's disease, diabetes, eczema, Parkinson's, signs of aging, stroke, traumatic brain injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's, cartilage injury, cleft palate repair, heart disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, spinal cord injury, stroke, and wound healing.

Why bank cord blood?

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The umbilical cord is rich with powerful stem cells - hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to be precise. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are FDA-approved to treat cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, and metabolic disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, leukemia, and sickle cell anemia.

Why bank cord tissue?

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The tissue of a baby's umbilical cord is filled with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Umbilical cord tissue stem cells are the subject of clinical research looking at treatments for lung disease, Alzheimer's, Autism, heart disease, hair loss, and more. In the case of personal injury or physical ailments, these can potentially be extremely helpful.

Why bank the placenta?

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The placenta is rich with mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells have valuable growth elements, which are potentially effective when it comes to anti-aging, limiting neural degeneration, and more.

What is cord blood banking's cost breakdown?

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Anja Health Family Defense Baby, our package with just umbilical cord blood banking has an average industry price of $4900. However, Anja's is 35% lower because we prioritize accessibility and have a tech-enabled platform that lowers costs via automation. Cord blood banking in general is an investment, however, because stem cells have to be carefully manually processed and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen, which is a hefty process.

How can umbilical cord blood's hematopoietic stem cells be used?

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HSC treatments are standard-of-care for multiple sclerosis treatments, and it has additionally been successfully used to treat cancers like leukemia and metabolic, immune, and blood disorders, such as Krabbe disease and sickle cell disease. Over 1300 clinical trials are currently being conducted to examine how it can treat neurological conditions as well - including cerebral palsy and Autism.

How can umbilical cord tissue and placenta amnion's mesenchymal stem cells be used?

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MSCs are the subject of multiple - and growing - clinical research studies. They are focused on utilizing MSCs for the treatment of severe wounds and physical trauma, stroke, spinal cord injuries, liver disease, Autism, lung disease, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.

If I don't bank, could my baby find a match in the future if they need it?

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Finding a match of the same ethnicity as the recipient is the key to finding an exact genetic match for umbilical cord blood. Because of racial inequities in access to healthcare and access to donating one's umbilical cord blood, it is especially difficult to find a match as a person of color or someone who is mixed race. On top of that, there is only a 29% chance that a match will be accepted by the recipient's system. So, the answer is yes, you could find a match, but the probability of a successful match is slim.

How does collection and storage work?

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Immediately after birth, your baby's umbilical cord is clamped and cut. A doctor or midwife draws cord blood from the clamped cord into a collection bag. Once you call the number on our collection kit to alert our shipping team that you've given birth, a medical courier picks up the collection kit and speedily delivers it to a lab. Necessary testing is carried out, and cord blood stem cells are stored in a liquid nitrogen storage tank within a lab facility.

What makes Anja different?

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First and foremost, we offer a pristine user experience. Our customer service support will always be available to walk you through any and every step of the process. Secondly, we are 35% cheaper than the industry standard, making us a parent favorite. Thirdly, we offer placenta banking because our lab has over 40 years of experience in stem cell processing. Finally, because our lab is so advanced we are able to manually process our stem cells - meaning they are processed by hand - which allows them to maximize stem cell count.

Where is cord blood and cord tissue stored?

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Anja's facility is based in New Jersey, and it is FDA-registered, AABB-accredited, American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics accredited member of Be the Match national registry of public cord blood banks. Since the facility's opening, it has processed over 35,000 units of cord blood and provided cord blood stem cells for over 300 transplants.

How far can it be shipped and safely preserved?

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Anja's contracted shipping company has over 10 years of experience in shipping medical products and delivers within 24 hours to Anja's contracted lab. However, the blood and tissue can last in the collection kit for up to 48 hours.

How far along is research in this area?

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The FDA approves cord blood stem cells as a treatment for 80+ diseases, and this number is constantly increasing as clinical trials make more notable discoveries surrounding stem cell use.

Can I just freeze it myself?

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No - maintaining stem cell viability requires careful cryopreservation in extreme temperatures.

Can I do delayed cord clamping as well?

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Yes - delayed cord clamping includes delaying cutting the cord, allowing cord blood to flow back into the baby. You can do delayed cord clamping as well as cord blood banking with Anja.

Can parents or siblings use cord blood?

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Yes - siblings are on average a 75% match and parents are a 50% match for cord blood. The entire family can benefit from one person's cord blood.

I'm due soon. When should I order my kit?

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We can get kits to parents within 3 days of their due date, but we recommend that parents enroll as early as possible because we've had numerous clients unexpectedly go into labor early.

I've heard that stem cells can only be used abroad. How can I use stem cells from Anja?

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Stem cells can be used in the United States in an FDA-approved, secure, and safe context.

What happens after enrollment?

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After enrollment, we'll send you your kit, you complete our health information forms, you notify your physician that you're banking, and bring the kit with you to birth. Let an admitting nurse or midwife know about your plans to bank on your baby's exciting day, and providers can use our instructions inside of the kit to collect properly.

Who notifies my physician that I'm banking?

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Physicians and nurses have to be notified in order to complete collection - we also have explanatory instructions inside of our kits for providers on the day of the baby's birth. We recommend that you forward our provider instructions to your doula, midwife, and/or physician prior to birth for their knowledge and convenience.

How do we know enough cord blood has been collected?

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If delayed cord clamping is done for only 2 minutes max or less (or not at all), it is extremely likely that enough stem cells were collected. We follow up with a stem cell certificate 1 month after birth so you can get an exact stem cell count. We also provide a stem cell certificate guide so you can easily understand and analyze the information.

What happens to all of Anja's clients if the business exits?

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All biological goods stored with Anja will stay in our New Jersey lab regardless of what happens to Anja as a business. Client relationship management and connection will be securely transferred to a responsible, experienced party if necessary.

How are you keeping track of whose stem cells are whose?

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Mixing up biological goods would be a violation of your personal property, so we have every FDA and AABB mandate in place to ensure that there would be absolutely no mix up whatsoever. We also carefully label every single sample multiple times (you may note our collection instructions requires every sample to be labeled).

If I have a disease already, will it impact the viability of the stem cells?

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It depends on the disease. Email hello@anjahealth.com with your disease, and we'll inquire with our medical team.

I want to encapsulate my placenta. Can I still do placenta banking?

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We require the entire placenta so we can extract as many stem cells as possible from it.

What happens when I want to use the stem cells?

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After birth, you have access to a portal where you can view your stem cell certificate and contact us in the case you ever want to retrieve your stem cells. You would need to have a physician ready to receive the stem cells for treatment (generally for a FDA-approved or clinical trial use case). We can get the stem cells to your designated physician shortly after you contact us.

If Anja's lab is in New Jersey, does that mean you can't bank in states outside of New Jersey?

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We bank nationally across the United States. Our shipping team can quickly get to any state, so your location will not impact Anja's shipping and storage abilities.

Do you have case studies of successful use cases?

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Yes. Click here

Is cord blood banking different if I give birth in a hospital vs. home vs. birth clinic?

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The only difference would be that - if you're not giving birth in a hospital - we'd verify that you have access to tools for blood collection and labels. Blood collection tools are for collecting a sample of the mother's blood as we screen it for disease. Labels are for ensuring everything that is collected is identified in multiple different ways, according to FDA and AABB regulations.

What if I'm having twins or triplets?

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You will have to order 1 kit for each child, but we have twin and triplet discounts! Email hello@anjahealth.com for more info.

What are Anja's average stem cell counts before and after processing cord blood, tissue, and placenta?

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The TNC and CD34 statistics are dependent on whether the mom does delayed cord clamping, genetics, length of cord, and more. However, Anja's collections have ranged from 470 million-2 billion for TNC and a CD34 count of 1.5 million-29 million.

How do you ensure maximum stem cell collection after birth?

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Anja's collection bag uses CPD and we do manual processing, to assure maximum stem cell collection across the board.

Why is the birth mother's blood collected?

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You may have noticed that in your kit we have included vials for your the birth mother's blood to be collected as well. This is because our lab will perform an infectious disease testings. It is required when considering using your baby's cord blood for research or treatment.

What if I have a c-section?

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C-section or vaginal delivery, our kit includes a sterile collection bag that can be used inside or outside of the operating room.

If I banked for one child do I need to bank for the others?

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We strongly suggest banking for each of your children. Cord blood has a 75% match rate for siblings though if your family decides to only bank for one or some of your children.

Anja's Process

Click to hear what medical and birth professionals have to say

  • Enroll

    with us here. We'll send you a collection kit to get started. One of our representatives can guide you through the process upon request if you click here, or you can complete the process in less than 5 minutes!

  • Add our collection kit to your hospital bag

    Before birth, let your admitting nurse know that you have arranged for stem cell collection. Store the collection kit at room temperature, bring it with you to the hospital, and let a healthcare professional know you have it before birth.

  • After birth, contact our shipping team

    Our shipping team will pick up the collection kit from your hospital, and we'll handle the rest - including viability testing, optimization, and cryopreservation within an AABB accredited lab.

Quality Guarantees

Every Anja Health product includes the following

Collection kit supplied with

FDA-approved materials and How to Collect instructions for medical professionals

Biological goods courier

with 10+ years of experience

Maximizing stem cell count

via manual processing methods that individualize recovery - as opposed to automatic

Storage for a lifetime

without damaging stem cells as stem cells do not expire

FDA-approved and AABB-accredited lab storage

with 40+ years of experience

Anja Health Account Specialist

who ensures that you stay connected to your stored family stem cells and the latest developments in stem cell research

Ready to get started?

Why bank stem cells at birth?

Click to hear what medical and birth professionals have to say

#1

How could stem cells someday save my child's and my life?

Umbilical cord blood is rich with hematopoietic stem cells that have been successfully used to treat metabolic disorders, immune disorders, blood disorders, cancers, and neurological conditions, such as sickle cell disease, leukemia, and more. Umbilical cord tissue is rich with mesenchymal stem cells, which are the subject of clinical research looking at treatments for lung disease, Alzheimer's, Autism, heart disease, hair loss, and more.

Read more on the science

What happens if I don't freeze my baby's umbilical cord blood and tissue?

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In the case that your child does get sick and could use stem cell treatments, you could try to find a donor. However, matching goes by ethnic background, and the chances of finding a matching donor as a person of color are less than 45%. If you're mixed race, it is highly unlikely that you'll find a match. Furthermore, if a biological match is found, there is a 71% chance of this match being rejected.

How does Anja go about freezing/banking umbilical cord blood and tissue?

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Once you enroll with Anja, we send you our premium collection kit, which contains all necessary materials to collect cord blood and cord tissue. You bring that with you to birth and let your midwife, doula, or admitting nurse know that you have it. After birth, you notify our shipping team via our client portal that the collection is finished, and we'll come pick it up from wherever you are in the United States. We'll bring it to our facility and cryopreserve it for safe keeping. According to numerous studies, the length of cryopreservation has minimal impact on the recovery of viable cells, so we will keep your stem cells for as long as you need at our contracted trusted New Jersey-based, AABB-accredited, FDA-approved facility.

See our lab

Why is Anja the best company to collect stem cells?

#4
  • Anja manually processes the cord blood, tissue, and placenta's stem cells after birth - individualizing the approach as opposed to having a machine do it. When compared to automated processing, Anja's manual processing leads to almost 25% more stem cells being recovered and up to 80% less red blood cells contaminating the sample.

  • Our partner providers have over 50 years of experience processing blood products

  • The most inclusive prices and premium experience available

Freezing umbilical cord blood could save your baby's life.

Join Serena Williams, Chriselle Lim, and so many other moms who banked umbilical cord blood.

Anja makes it easy.

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