That fetal blood holds all sorts of interesting â€” and potentially therapeutic â€” cells and molecules. This realization has, in some cases, changed the way the umbilical cord and placenta are handled during birth. Instead of tossing it aside, some doctors, scientists and parents are choosing to bank this fetal blood â€” harvesting it from the baby’s umbilical cord and placenta, freezing it and storing it away for later.
Proponents of cord blood banking are convinced that instead of being medical waste, the fetal cells within are biological gold. In this post, and the two that follow, I’ll take a look at the evidence for those claims, and sort through some of the questions that arise as parents consider whether to bank their baby’s cord blood.
Read more about umbilical cord blood banking and its uses.