* 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.Here's how to get started:
• Donation does not change the birth process.
• Donating cord blood is free to you and completely confidential.
--> 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 cryo-intl.com 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)