All About Stem Cell & Cord Blood Banking
Frequently Asked Questions
Why bank cord blood?

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?

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?

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.

How can hematopoietic stem cells be used?

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 mesenchymal stem cells be used?

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, can my baby find a match in the future?

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?

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?

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?

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 cord blood be shipped?

Anja Health'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?

The FDA approves cord blood stem cells as a treatment for 85+ diseases, and this number is constantly increasing as clinical trials make more notable discoveries surrounding stem cell use.

Can I just freeze cord blood myself?

No - maintaining stem cell viability requires careful cryopreservation in extreme temperatures. (-190° Celsius!)

Can I do delayed cord clamping as well?

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?

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?

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.

Can stem cells only be used abroad?

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

What happens after enrollment?

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?

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 is collected?

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 if the Anja Health closes?

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 do you track each person's stem cells?

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, will it impact viability of the cells?

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

Can I still do placenta banking and encapsulation?

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

How can I use the stem cells?

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.

Where can I bank cord blood?

Anja Health banks 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.

Can I bank cord blood if I have a home birth?

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 multiples?

You can order one kit for each child, but we have twin and triplet discounts! Email for more info.

What are average stem cell counts?

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?

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?

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?

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

Should I bank for each child?

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.

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