Healthcare Tips

Saving Lives with Cord Blood

July 8, 2023

Donating blood is an easy, beneficial way to give back to your community, and someday you might require this incredible gift from a stranger to help you, too. But what you might not realize is that cord blood—which is blood taken from the umbilical cord and placenta of the mother after the child is born—can be just as life-saving and incredibly beneficial in a time of need. 

For Cord Blood Awareness Month, learn all about this vital biological material that just might one day save a life.

Why Is Cord Blood Important?

Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells, which can rebuild bone marrow and the immune system when transplanted. It can be life-saving for a patient with a serious blood disorder and can treat bone marrow failure, serious inherited genetic disorders, and so much more. More importantly, it’s one of just three sources of stem cells used in transplants (the other two being blood and bone marrow).

You can donate your cord blood to a public cord bank after birth, or it can be stored in a private facility for use only by your family.

Should I Donate Cord Blood?

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that can sometimes mean preparing for the worst. If your child were to have a serious medical emergency, their cord blood would be highly beneficial. 

It might seem best to save your cord blood in case your own child needs it someday. However, there are many other children whose lives are threatened by medical crises right now. And your cord blood can help. In fact, stem cells found in cord blood have been used in over 40,000 transplants around the world.

Ultimately, the decision for whether or not to donate your blood or bank it privately is up to you. But regardless of what you decide, there’s no doubt that cord blood collection after delivery can be incredibly important, either for your child or someone else’s. The collection process is easy and painless, and it won’t interfere with labor or delivery in any way. So you can rest assured you’ll be making a good decision without worrying about consequences for your child or yourself.  

Without cord blood banking, this life-saving biological material is often discarded as medical waste. Don’t let this precious resource be tossed away. The cord blood that you and your doctor save today could save a child’s life tomorrow.