What to know about July Cord Blood Awareness Month

It’s natural for parents to want to give their kids the best possible start in life. But since so many diseases and conditions only develop later in life, how can parents protect their grownup kids? One way is to bank your child’s cord blood for later medical use. During National Cord Blood Awareness Month this July, expecting parents are encouraged to explore the possibilities with cord blood banking or donation. The compassionate obstetrics providers at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are always here to help if you have questions or concerns.

What cord blood is
Unborn and newborn babies are attached to an umbilical cord, which is removed shortly after birth. Cord blood is found inside the umbilical cord and placenta. Cord blood is significant for medical reasons because it contains stem cells.

What stem cells do
Stem cells are unique because they have the potential to turn into many different kinds of cells. This allows doctors to put them to work treating diseases that the individual may develop, such as anemia, cancers and certain immune system disorders.

The stem cells found in cord blood are particularly advantageous because they almost never carry infectious diseases. Plus, they aren’t likely to be rejected by the body.

How cord blood is extracted
The process of extracting and preserving cord blood is painless for mothers and babies. If you decide to have your baby’s cord blood preserved, you’ll need to inform the obstetrician ahead of the birth.

Once your baby is born, the obstetrician will clamp the umbilical cord before cutting it. Then, a needle is used to extract blood from the cord.

How cord blood is preserved
Families may choose to donate their baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank. There is no cost to donate.

Alternatively, families may choose to privately bank cord blood. Note that there is typically a high one-time fee, plus a yearly maintenance fee.

Family Birthing Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a beautiful, peaceful place to welcome your baby into the world. Our highly trained obstetrics providers deliver world-class, family-centered services because we believe our youngest patients deserve the best of care. Call (888) 762-8881 if you have any questions about our women’s and family services in San Jose.

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