Upcoming Research: Did You Save Your Child’s Umbilical Cord Blood?

Umbilical Cord

Umbilical Cord

I am sure you’ve heard of the growing attention to the benefits of saving your child’s umbilical cord blood. If you haven’t, it would be a great idea to read up on it. One of the mothers that brings her daughter her weekly asked me about it and what I knew about it. So, I figured if she was wondering that, then some of you may be too.

There are many skeptical people about this whole process, but there continues to be more and more scientific based research in this area with demonstrations that it has positive effects. Of course there are pros and cons to ALL decisions, and you as the parent hold that responsibility.

It does sound a little crazy but with the advancement in technology these days, more opportunities arise. For those that are not familiar with any of this, it is the blood in your newborn baby’s umbilical cord. This blood is so unique because it contains stem cells that have not become specialized yet. So, this means that if there are damaged blood cells, the cord blood cells may be able to reverse the effects of the damaged cells. It is now possible to create specialized blood cells for your body’s needs. Of course this isn’t something you just store anywhere, and must be kept in a blood cord bank.

That leads us to issue #1.$$$. Expenses are tough in general when you have a child, so to add an expense of banking this cord blood when they may not even need it seems like it may lack value. That leads me to this question though… what if they DID need it? What if your child could benefit from cord cells but you didn’t decide to save them? Those are very heavy questions…especially for most of you who already have or have not done this. I am not in your shoes as a parent/caregiver of someone with special needs so couldn’t help you answer these…but what value does it hold to you?

Recently an article came out about how umbilical cord blood improves motor skills in some children with Cerebral Palsy. They found that it actually improved the brain connectivity and motor function in children with spastic CP. ALL of the children who received the cord blood made significant improvements in their scores on the testing by the end of the trial. Pretty amazing, huh?

Its important to note that not every diagnosis can be treated with cord blood. If your child is born with a genetic condition such as muscular dystrophy, these stem cells would be the same the the already damaged blood cells in your child’s body and would not have any beneficial effects. This is a topic to look into and make sure you research. If you have saved the cord blood and have a child with special needs, there are MANY clinical trials going on that you may qualify for! It isn’t just for Cerebral Palsy either! New trials are heading underway for children with Autism also. It is definitely something worth looking into…

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Christine Astarita
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