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Why You Should Save Your Baby's Stem Cells

Article Sponsored by StemCyte

During your pregnancy, there are many decisions to make as you prepare for your new addition. One of those decisions is whether to save your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells.

Your baby’s umbilical cord blood is a rich source of special blood cells called stem cells, which are the building blocks for blood, organs, tissue and the immune system, and they are genetically unique to each baby.

Umbilical cord stem cells are currently used to fight more than 80 health issues, including leukemia, autoimmune diseases, lupus and inheritable diseases such as sickle-cell anemia. Researchers are also studying stem cells as a treatment for cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, Type 1 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and Parkinson’s. Because of this, many parents choose to have their babies’ cord blood collected at birth and banked for future use. Individuals may opt to do this due to a family history of disease, or if the family has another child with a treatable condition. Many individuals take advantage of collection and banking as a one-time opportunity to harvest cells that may be needed in the future.

As part of its commitment to being the best place to receive care, Arizona OBGYN Affiliates has partnered with StemCyte. To provide this important service to our patients. Stemcyte is one of several options available to our patients and you should study all of the options so you make the best decision for you and your family.

Cord Blood Banking Options

StemCyte offers three options for families to save babies’ cord blood:

Public cord blood banking — Parents can choose to donate their baby's cord blood to others in need and to further cord blood research. Patients can notify their nurse upon admission to Labor and Delivery that they would like to donate their baby's cord blood. There is no charge for public banking. This option is currently not available in Arizona.

Related-donor cord blood donation — Through this program, a baby's umbilical cord blood can be collected and used to treat a biological sibling or parent with a diagnosed disease. Some families may be eligible to receive this service free of charge through a program developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Contact StemCyte to find out if your family qualifies for this program.

Traditional or private cord blood banking — A baby’s own cord blood is collected and stored for potential future use. Since cord blood can be stored indefinitely, private cord blood banking offers a safeguard against diseases treatable today, as well as potential treatment possibilities in the future. Plus, each baby’s stem cells are guaranteed to be a perfect genetic match. Collection fees and annual banking fees may be financed, and discounts are available.

For more information, visit StemCyte or call 866-389-4659.