I recently gave birth to our third child, a beautiful baby girl named Frankie. Since I gave birth to our first child, Stella, in 2006, I’ve noticed the amount of advice and information available to new mums has really grown.
Something we didn’t know much about before but were really glad we learned about this time around was cord blood banking. When our obstetrician explained that Frankie’s cord blood was a rich source of stem cells that could potentially be used to fight a variety of conditions, we had to find out more.
What we learned was fascinating – cord blood can be used in the treatment of blood cancers like leukaemia, and research is underway that could see it used to battle cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes and heart disease. With all the research being done into using cord blood as a treatment for other conditions by medical researchers around the world, we decided it was something we just had to do with Frankie. By banking her cord blood we are ensuring Frankie can take advantage of any potential advances in the use of cord blood, should she need to. When you think ten years ago it was seen as medical waste, who knows what conditions cord blood could be used to treat in the next ten years? The process of banking was easy – once I gave birth to Frankie, my obstetrician collected the blood from the umbilical cord and sent it to Cell Care’s facility in Moorabbin to be processed and stored.
Obviously, no-one ever wants to think about the possibility of their child getting sick and I really hope that we never have to use the cord blood, but it makes us feel safe to know that it’s there if we do ever need it. Also, in the future if one of our other children needed stem cell therapy, and Frankie’s blood was a match, it could potentially be used to treat them. Cell Care’s experience in using this blood for siblings and the fact they’re the largest provider of cord bank storage in Australia gives me great piece of mind.
By banking Frankie’s blood Michael and I feel we are doing our bit to potentially protect all our children’s health.