Today, I want to share the extremely important decision we made to store our baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells.
I had been in Canada for a year when we found out that we were expecting our first child. This was a joyous, exciting and scary time for us, like all new parents.
[Click here to request a free information kit and a promo code for $235 off]
I remember that first call we made to my mother and my mother-in-law in Pakistan, to announce the big news! I was honestly surprised by their reaction. I was expecting them both to scream excitedly but they were full of prayers and words of caution, asking me to be careful and take care of myself. This was the first step in realizing the responsibilities of parenting.
My husband and I did thorough research on every parenting topic, like all new parents, including baby equipment, the best options for RESPs, etc. In our extensive research about the best for our child, we also came across umbilical cord blood banking through online resources, something we were not aware of living in South Asia. We decided to store our baby’s cord blood stem cells to secure potential future medical options for our child and family should we need them.
Cord blood is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord at the time of birth. Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells that can be used in place of bone marrow to treat solid tumors, immune deficiencies, blood cancers like leukemias, or genetic diseases. According to Canadian Blood Services, more than 80 diseases and disorders have been treated with a cord blood stem cell transplant (1).
Another factor that also drove our decision to store was that the chances of finding a bone marrow or cord blood match for our baby. Today, only half of Canadians looking for a match will ever find one (2). If a stem cell transplant was ever needed, the odds are even bleaker for non-Caucasians like us living in Canada because some ethnic groups like South Asians have more complex tissue types than other ethnic groups therefore chances of finding a matching donor for our child would be very low (3).
The best chances of finding a matching stem cell donor may therefore be with someone of the same ethnic background or by storing your child’s own cord blood. The other reassuring reason for storing our child’s cord blood is that the matching cord blood is readily available if need be and we would not have to search global registries to find donor.
According to “Be the Match”, the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. As South Asians and Asians, we only have a 41% chance of finding a match within public registries compared to 77% for white ethnicities. See below for a summary of finding a match by ethnic background (3):
Through our research, we learned that cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for our baby and there is a greater chance that they may be a match for siblings, compared to unrelated donors from the public registry.
As parents we all want the best for our child. This is why we decided to immigrate and plant our roots in Canada. And these are the standards we use to make every decision for our children, be it the safest car seat available, the healthiest dinner or securing potential future medical treatment options for our child and family through cord blood banking.
I would highly encourage all parents to consider cord blood banking and make an informed decision. This is a decision you need to make while you’re pregnant in order to be prepared with a cord blood collection kit when you go into labour. The only opportunity to collect cord blood is at the time of your baby’s birth.
We chose to store with Inspection Lifebank because of their years of experience and their commitment to investing in cord blood research.
Your Exclusive Cord Blood Offer:
Request your free cord blood information kit here and you will receive a promo code for up to $235 off cord blood and tissue storage with Insception Lifebank
I would love to talk to you more about our various parenting choices! So do let me know if you have any questions.
Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Insception Lifebank. All opinions are my own.