As part of our relationship with Future Health Biobank, we’re delving into the world of stem cell banking to discover the options for parents and intended parents.
Firstly, what are stem cells? Stem cells are different to all other kinds of cells in the body. These amazing cells help us grow and develop, and can heal illnesses and injury by regenerating into new and different types of cells.
Everyone is born with stem cells but they diminish over time as they age and are exposed to the environment. Umbilical cord stem cell banking is a way of preserving these cells at the earliest opportunity. The process involves carefully collecting a baby’s cord blood and cord tissue at the time of birth and processing for storage in cryogenic facilities. Another opportunity is to store a different type of stem cell found the dental pulp. These cells can be stored when a child naturally loses their milk teeth.
Before we get into the amazing life-saving properties of these stem cells, it is important to note that storing stem cells from an umbilical cord is compatible with surrogacy. In fact, making the service as inclusive and accessible as possible is something Future Health has always advocated. The service is also available to anyone using a donor egg (ovum) and/or sperm.
Amanda from Future Health explains:
“We are proud our umbilical cord banking service is available to surrogate pregnancies. We’ve supported many families utilising a surrogate in storing their baby’s stem cells. Our customer care team are able to guide you through the process for intended parents.”
Although stem cells are unfamiliar to many; the majority of us will be familiar with bone marrow transplants. These are in fact a type of stem cell transplant; taking place routinely throughout the world.
Medical applications of cord blood stem cells are well-progressed and have been taking place for decades. Cord blood stem cells are applicable in over 80 standard therapies for sometimes life-threatening leukaemia’s, lymphomas, anaemias, solid tumours and inherited disorders. Due to the lack of awareness of the service, in most cases, these cells are disposed of shortly after birth.
Storing stem cells
Stem cells are 100% match for the person they are from and a 25% match for a biological sibling. They are stored exclusively for the family, rather than them being available on a public donor registry. As such, if they are ever needed, families have peace of mind they’re stored safely for them.
Future Health have released over 125 stem cell samples, including cord blood and dental cells. The team work with transplant centres and hospitals throughout the world to arrange their safe transportation free of charge.
Why do people store stem cells?
The decision to store is a personal decision. There are many millions of people throughout the world who have chosen to store stem cells and it is fair to assume that they have done so for their own unique reason
“Over the last decade I’ve worked with many families who’ve chosen to store stem cells. Although the drive to store is personal, I find medical history, heritage, or simply wanting peace of mind knowing the cells are stored exclusively for them are common reasons.”
“Sharing the amazing potential of stem cells with people is a privilege. I believe in the science, and in my time at Future Health, I’ve seen the amazing medical developments involving stem cells.”
The collection process
Both the umbilical cord and tooth stem cell banking options involve a specially designed collection kit.
For the cord blood and tissue service, the process of collecting stem cells happens shortly after birth and does not interfere with obstetric or midwifery care. It is standard practice to collect the stem cells once the third stage of labour has been successfully completed and baby is safe and comfortable. The stem cells are collected by a phlebotomist using the collection kit. Once the collection is complete you’ll receive your kit back to return to us, using the instructions provided.
The collection process is designed to be compatible with all types of birth.
“It’s important to note that collecting umbilical cord stem cells is compatible with vaginal births, as well as instrumental, planned and emergency caesarean sections and home births. We also support the choice to store alongside delayed cord clamping and placenta encapsulation.
“We also collect for identical and non-identical twins.”
My Surrogacy Journey are proud to offer a discount on Future Health Biobank’s umbilical
cord blood and dental pulp, please contact your coordinator for more information.
www.futurehealthbiobank.com 0115 967 7707