What Is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after your baby is born. Umbilical cord blood contains many types of stem cells with an abundance of Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs). Stem cells are powerful cells that have the natural ability to turn into other types of cells, regenerate, renew, and replace damaged cells with healthy ones. These unique qualities make stem cells valuable.
The Hematopoietic Stem Cells found in cord blood are responsible for the development of your baby’s blood and immune system. In fact, HSCs are responsible for maintaining our blood and immune system throughout life!
For over thirty years, cord blood stem cells have been used for stem cell transplants to help rebuild a new healthy blood and immune system in patients. And because of their unique qualities, researchers have explored the use of cord blood in regenerative medicine research to see if cord blood can stimulate the body’s own repair system for certain conditions, like cerebral palsy.
What is Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood banking is not a new concept. Families have been banking cord blood for decades and, more importantly, so many families have benefited from their decision to bank.
After your baby is born, even after delayed cord clamping, you can collect and store the cord blood, or 'bank' it, for your family. Cord blood banking, sometimes called stem cell banking or stem cell preservation, is the process of collecting the blood that remains in the umbilical cord, processing the blood to extract the stem cells, and cryogenically freezing the cells for potential future medical use.
See How Cord Blood Banking Is Helping Families Today
Over 500 ViaCord families have used their banked cord blood for a transplant or clinical research. For many families, like the Krebbs family, having access to their baby’s cord blood made a world of difference in their lives.
Reasons To Bank Cord Blood
Families choose cord blood banking for their baby for many reasons, including:
Peace of Mind
Families find peace of mind knowing they’ll have access to a potential medical resource if ever needed.
Cord blood has been used in transplant medicine for over thirty years and can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 conditions today.
Regenerative medicine clinical trials have used cord blood for conditions like autism and cerebral palsy.
The umbilical cord provides an easy and non-invasive way to secure valuable stem cells, unlike securing stem cells from bone marrow, which is an invasive and painful procedure or trying to find a match in a Public Cord Blood bank
Lock In The Youth
Collecting stem cells moments after birth mean they haven’t been exposed to potentially harmful factors, like age or disease, impacting stem cells collected later in life.
Keep It In Your Family
Your baby is always a perfect genetic match to his or her cord blood stem cells and full siblings have a change of being a partial genetic match.
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.
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.
Learn more about how cord blood can be used
How Is Cord Blood Collected?
Collecting cord blood 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, ViaCord lab specialists get to work processing the cord blood to get you the highest volume and quality of stem cells possible.
Learn more about ViaCord's processing and storage methods
How Does Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking Work?
ViaCord makes banking easy.
We’ve developed our process to make baking your baby’s cord blood and tissue as easy and convenient as possible. Everything your medical professional needs to perform the collection is included in your ViaCord collection kit. Here’s how it works:
Enroll with ViaCord in minutes online or by calling 866-668-4895
We’ll ship you your ViaCord collection kit.
Bring your collection kit to the hospital on the big day! Give it to your healthcare professional.
Call us when the collection is complete and we’ll send a courier to pick it up at your location.
We’ll arrange transport of your collection to our lab. ViaCord's Processing Lab operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
That’s it! We’ll let you know when your kit arrives at our lab for processing.
Learn more about how our processing and storage methods