What Is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. Throughout pregnancy, the umbilical cord functions as the lifeline between mom and baby, carrying nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood from the placenta to the developing baby. Umbilical cord blood contains an abundance of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) which are responsible for the development of the baby’s blood and immune system. In fact, HSCs are responsible for maintaining the blood and immune system throughout life and can also be found in bone marrow. This is what makes cord blood so special – it’s an easily accessible source of valuable stem cells.
Cord Blood Banking
After your baby is born, even after delayed cord clamping, you have the opportunity to collect and store the cord blood, or 'bank' it, for your family. Cord blood banking is the entire process of collecting the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after a baby is born, processing the blood to extract the stem cells, and storing the stem cells by cryogenically freezing them for potential future medical use. Cord blood banking is not a new concept. It has been around for nearly thirty years.
Why Bank Your Baby's Cord Blood?
Storing cord blood means you'll have access to a valuable medical resource.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells have the unique ability to help rebuild a healthy immune system damaged by disease. Cord blood has been used in transplant medicine for over 30 years and can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 different diseases today.1 Over the last few years, cord blood use has expanded beyond transplant medicine into clinical research trials for conditions like autism and brain injuries.
It's a very exciting time for cord blood and the perfect time to bank your baby's cord blood for your family's potential future use.
Learn more about the benefits of cord blood
Who Can Use Your Baby's Cord Blood?
There is often confusion over who can use cord blood stem cells in treatment — the baby they were collected from or a sibling? The short answer is both, but it very much depends on the condition being treated. And it's ultimately the treating physician's decision.
Your baby may be able to use his or her own cord blood in the treatment of certain non-genetic diseases and cancers. Participation in some clinical trials require children to have access to their own cord blood. Possible uses include:
Neuroblastoma | Autism | Cerebral Palsy
A sibling in need of a stem cells donor may be able to use your baby's cord blood. Treatments using cord blood from a family member are about twice as successful as those from a non-relative. Possible uses include:
Blood Disorders | Cancers | Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
Learn about ViaCord's Sibling Connection Program →
How Can Your Baby's Cord Blood Be Used?
If needed, your baby's cord blood could possibly be used for:
Proven Uses In Transplant Medicine
Cancers | Blood Disorders | Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes | Metabolic Disorders | Immune Disorders | Other
Clinical Research Trials
Autism | Cerebral Palsy | Brain Injury | Type 1 diabetes
Learn more about cord blood uses →
See how cord blood is helping families today.
Over 450 ViaCord families have used their banked cord blood in transplant medicine or clinical research. For some families, having access to their cord blood has made a world of difference in their lives.
How is cord blood collected?
The process is safe, painless and will not interfere with your birth plan or your bonding time with your new baby.
After your baby is born the umbilical cord will be clamped and cut. Using ViaCord's collection kit, your medical professional will insert a needle into the umbilical cord and let the remaining blood drain into our collection bag.
When the collection is complete, we send a courier to your location to pick up your collection kit and transport it to ViaCord’s Processing Lab. Once at our lab, our lab specialist get to work processing the cord blood to get you the highest volume and quality of stem cells possible.
Learn how ViaCord processes and stores cord blood