Pregnancy is an overwhelming time for many and now there is yet another thing to consider and another decision to make before your little one enters the world. Why should you consider banking cord blood? Here are four reasons why preserving your baby’s newborn stem cells is a wise decision.

#1: Newborn stem cells are viable for many years when they are properly preserved.

Banking your baby’s cord blood involves cryogenic preservation for long-term storage. Although it was previously thought that stem cells were only viable for 15 years, research has now shown that cord blood stem cells collected and preserved 24 years ago have the same capabilities as those that are freshly collected. It is also believed that this viability term will continue to increase with further research.

#2: Cord blood banking provides a perfectly matched sample if your child ever needs stem cell therapy.

Stem cell transplants require a very close match between the donor and the recipient. It can be very difficult or sometimes impossible to find that match. especially if a stem cell donation is required urgently to treat an illness. However, banking of cord blood means that there is always a perfectly matched stem cell sample available if it is ever needed in the future.

#3: Future stem cell therapies may require stem cells collected from cord blood.

Stem cell therapy is a rapidly growing area of research. In the future, if your child requires stem cell therapy, knowing that you already have a preserved sample of your child’s own stem cells will mean that lifesaving stem cell therapies will be an option.

#4: Your baby’s stem cells could save the life of another family member.

There is a high likelihood that your baby’s newborn stem cells will be a close match to a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. If one of your family members (or even yourself) requires a stem cell transplant at a later date, the cord blood of your own child may be a lifesaver.

Traditionally the umbilical cord and the blood left over were discarded at birth. Today, it is well established that both cord blood and cord tissue are valuable sources of stem cells.

Newborn stem cells can only be banked at birth, which makes the choice to preserve your baby’s stem cells a unique opportunity.