In the run-up to World Cord Blood Day on the 15th of November, blood cancer research charity, Leukemia and Myeloma Research UK (LMRUK) is appealing to expectant parents to learn more about the benefits of cord blood banking. They’re also encouraging them to sign up to bank their newborn’s umbilical cord blood stem cells via their Model Cell Biobank service.
To help raise awareness and educate people about cord blood banking, the charity has answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the process and explained how their service works.
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of a baby. It is rich in potentially lifesaving stem cells, similar to those found in bone marrow, and is currently used to treat over 80 life-threatening illnesses, including blood cancer.
What is cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting a newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells safely at the time of birth and storing them for future use in a specialist facility.
If required, the stem cells can be used in the treatment of disease in the child or another family member who is a match.
How does the process of banking cord blood work?
Umbilical cord blood stem cells can only be collected at the time of birth by a trained professional, such as a phlebotomist. It is important to note that extracting the stem cells causes no harm or risk to the mother or baby and does not affect the bonding experience.
To collect the cord blood stem cells, a midwife will check that both the mother and the baby are OK before proceeding. The phlebotomist will take the cord blood to collect the stem cells and package it safely and securely, ready to be sent to the laboratory.
LMRUK’s cord blood banking service
LMRUK launched their cord blood banking service, the Model Cell Biobank in 2015. It’s the first umbilical cord blood stem cell storage service offering part and fully-funded support for qualifying families.
The bespoke service covers either a percentage or the full cost for expectant parents depending on the family’s eligibility, which looks at the household income and whether there has been a history of cancer in the immediate family.
If you do decide to collect your baby’s cord blood stem cells, you will need to ask your midwife or healthcare provider about whether this can be facilitated at your chosen hospital.
To learn more about LMRUK’s Model Cell Biobank Service click here or enquire via email@example.com and the team will be happy to answer any questions.
Here’s what some of LMRUK’s Model Cell Biobank customers have to say…
‘The team at LMRUK were so helpful and knowledgeable – they talked me through the whole process and advised me that as a sibling, there was a 25% chance that Alice’s stem cells would be a match for Lara’s. Craig and I read through all the information on the LMRUK website and decided to apply.’ – Sam and Craig
‘The whole process of retrieving the cord blood stem cells was very simple. We were sent a kit that contained lots of information on the process, the cord blood storage, and the collection, which was really helpful. The charity was always on hand to answer any of our questions in the lead up to the birth and were a great support.’ – Clavy
Learn more about the process and benefits of cord blood banking by visiting LMRUK’s website: https://lmruk.org/cord-blood-bank/.