This post is a collaboration with Smart Cells and includes information provided in a press release about World Cord Blood Day
Today is World Cord Blood Day and this got me thinking about my experience of donating cord blood, the reasons I wanted to do something with the cord blood from my babies and what a difference this could make to someone’s life.
I wonder what you know about cord blood?
Did you know that it could be useful and potential save lives?
Did you know that it could be stored?
I didn’t know any of this before I was literally about to give birth and was approached by the NHS cord blood bank to see if I wanted to donate my cord blood. In fact I didn’t even know that cord blood was a thing! According to Smart Cells 1 in 3 parents to be don’t know that their cord blood could be collected and stored straight after the birth . I am keen to help to change this as at the moment so much cord blood which could change or save lives is simply discarded as medical waste.
Why save cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of your baby and it is rich in blood stem cells. These cells are known to be able to treat some 80 diseases and new discoveries are being made all the time. They can treat illnesses including many different cancers, immune deficiencies and genetic disorders. According to the ‘Save the Cord Foundation’ at the moment up to 98% of cord blood is simply thrown away. It is certainly the policy of the NHS in the UK that unless you agree to donate your cord blood or have made arrangements for this to be stored privately then it is thrown away. This strikes me as a terrible waste. I knew I had no interest in eating the placenta etc…, but loved the idea that we could do something potentially life saving with the cord blood.
Until I started this collaboration I had actually totally forgotten that I donated the cord blood from each of my babies after they were born. This might sound a bit daft, but I often forget stuff and frankly in the midst of c sections and seeing my beautiful new babies this was the last thing on my mind. It also tells you how simple the process is. It was as simple as filling out forms and then the cord blood was stored rather than simply being discarded as medical waste. It made no difference to me, but one day it might make a real and dramatic difference to someone else. I won’t be having anymore children (4 is quite enough!), but if I did I wouldn’t hesitate to donate or store the cord blood again. I mean why not? It is painless, non intrusive and easy to arrange.
What is World Cord Blood Day all about?
World Cord Blood day is about raising awareness about the possibilities that exist for storing or donating cord blood and the benefit that this could have for your family or for someone else . This can literally save lives and does save lives so I think it is important to share information about cord blood storage. If you want to find out more about the day and about the process check out this press release: https://www.smartcells.com/baby/b/showing-our-support-for-world-cord-blood-day-2018/