Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Donate your baby's cord blood.

Are you pregnant? Is someone you love? If so, then check this out: Your baby may be able to save someone's life just by being born. When you give birth, you have three options for what to do with the placenta and umbilical cord blood:

* Trash it. This is what usually happens. What a waste.
* Store it for possible use by you, your child or a member of your family.
* Donate it for public storage so that it can be used for research or to treat or save the life of an unrelated person.

Cord blood contains hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, "Each year thousands of patients are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases that can be treated by rebuilding the patient's hematopoietic (blood cell producing) system with blood-forming cells. Umbilical cord blood is being studied as one of the sources of blood cells." So why throw cord blood away when it can be put to good use treating life-threating disease? Consider,
• Donating cord blood is medically safe. The cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord after your baby is born.
• Donation does not change the birth process.
• Donating cord blood is free to you and completely confidential.
Here's how to get started:

--> Learn more about cord blood donation. The NMDP has tons of information including an FAQ, eligibility guidelines, participating cord blood banks and hospitals and more.

--> Register to donate between your 28th and 35th week of pregnancy.

--> Contact Cryobanks International if there is no hospital in your area. Donations to Cryobanks are accepted from anywhere in the Continental United States. They'll come and pick it up, and remember donating is free. Cryobanks can be reached at or 1-800-869-8608.

Some expectant families may be considering storage for private use. Cryobanks has a quiz that can help you make the choice between private storage and public storage (donation).

Think about it. Talk about it with your partner. Pray about it. And consider what a blessing your child's birth can be to some other mother's child. Regardless of your decision, remember that there are many ways you can donate life.

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed yet." - William Gibson (1999)


Karama said...

Sisters: Consider this from the NMDP:

"Even with more than 40,000 cord blood units listed, some patients are unable to find a match because of the rarity of their tissue traits. Some tissue traits are more likely to be found among people of a particular racial or ethnic heritage. That is why a pressing need remains for more cord blood donations from American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and multiple-race women." (emphasis mine)

Linda MacDonald Glenn said...

Great post, Karama! We posted something similar on the WBP blog -- the need for stem cells and cord blood could benefit many.

Karama said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Your WBP post on cord blood donation provides good context for this one, so thanks for mentioning it.

Keep up the great work at the Women's Bioethics Project!

Karama said...

Great news! So what can I do has been nominated for a 2005 Koufax Award in the category Best Single Issue Blog. The Koufax Awards are likely the oldest blog awards given and are "named for Sandy Koufax, one of the greatest left handed pitchers of all time. They are intended to honor the best blogs and bloggers of the left."

I'll be sure to let you know when voting begins so that you can support So what can I do and other blogs you enjoy. Many thanks to whoever nominated So what can I do!

Cordbloodhub said...

Good point. There are however a few other things many people should be aware of. Most know that cord blood banks collect, process, test and store the donated umbilical cord blood for the public use, taking into account the great number of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases each year. Therefore, cord blood banks look after expectant mothers, informing them about the importance of their umbilical cord blood and the possibility of helping some people who suffer from terrible diseases. Nevertheless, the information and sensitizing of the population is not fully achieved as in the case of simple blood donation. Cord blood stem cell transplants are considered in order to replace blood marrow transplants. The possibility of finding the match for the patients in need increases, as in 2001 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that roughly 20,000 American lives were saved through transplants of stem cells. I’ve covered some other aspects related to this topic on my website, Cord blood hub - please let me know if you find them useful.


Michael Rad

Karama said...

Thanks for your comments, Michael. I hope you enjoyed your visit to So what can I do. Please stop by again soon, and spread the word!

Karama said...

Check out this great testimonial! I hope you or someone you know will consider donating their baby's cord blood.

Anonymous said...

Nice article about Cord Blood.
I also made a nice Cord Blood Banking
Blog Resource

Karama said...

Happily, Kwadjo and I were able to make a cord blood donation on October 20, 2006!

alisonrobison said...

I think this is so great that other people think this is important. I am currently pregnant and am trying to go throw the process of donating my baby's Cord Blood. I have a Website with documenting my experience in doing this.
Thanks for helping to make a difference!

Karama said...

Hi Alison,

I'm glad you found this useful, it's wonderful that you are planning to donate your child's cord blood. Kwadjo and I used Cryobanks and were very happy with the experience. Thanks for spreading the word about this wonderful opportunity through Keep up the great work, and please stop by again soon.

Karama said...

And best wishes with your pregnancy and donation, Alison!

Anonymous said...

Donating cord blood is really a great way to make a difference. I'm glad you've been able to post about this -- for many organizations that collect cord blood, their biggest obstacle is that people don't know how easy it can be to contribute. Groups like Gift of Life have been reaching out to bloggers to help raise awareness -- so it's great to see people who are already spreading the word.