This post was sponsored by American Cell Technology, all opinions are our own.
There are a lot of decisions that need to be made before your baby arrives like what you want your birth to look like, what brand of diapers you plan to use, and what furniture you want in the nursery. While these are the types of decisions most moms-to-be have in the forefront of their mind, one thing that you might not immediately think about is cord blood and tissue banking.
We want to chat about why it is something you definitely should be thinking about! We’ve partnered with American Cell Technology to teach you all about cord blood and cord tissue banking so you can make the best decision for your family.
What is Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking Anyways?
Before we get to talking about American Cell Technology and what sets them apart from the other cord blood banking companies, it is important for you to understand exactly what cord blood and tissue banking are. Here is the most important thing you need to know; the cord blood and cord tissue from your baby’s umbilical cord are very powerful and you only have one chance to store them for future use. That one chance is immediately after their birth, and therefore, this is a decision you need to make during pregnancy so that you can plan accordingly.
So, why is it so powerful? Umbilical cord blood and cord tissue contain vibrant and rich sources of stem cells. Stem cells are special because they have the ability to develop into many different kinds of cells, such as bone, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. Because of this, stem cells can be used in transplants that are a part of lifesaving treatment plans for various diseases ranging from cancers to genetic disorders.
While there are other sources of stem cells you may be able to use, personal stem cells with your own DNA are the best match. Your own personal stem cells from cord blood or cord tissue also eliminate the chance of transmitting infectious diseases or the potential of graft-versus-host disease (a severe autoimmune condition) making personal (autologous) stem cells a better choice than allogeneic (someone else’s) stem cells.
What is American Cell Technology?
American Cell Technology is a cord blood bank that helps you to store your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue stem cells. They maintain the highest medical lab standards; their laboratory is FDA-registered and operates in current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). Because of this, they are well-trusted with thousands of adult and newborn clients already.
The biggest thing that sets ACT apart from other companies similar to them is the way they store and allow the cells to naturally grow. ACT does this by completely isolating the stem cells from any red blood cells before freezing them for storage. This creates the optimal conditions for longevity so that if your child ever needs to use them, they will be ready and useful. Many other banks will simply store a child’s cord blood or cord tissue sample with some red blood cells, which can be toxic to stem cells and could reduce the number of live stem cells available for later use.
Furthermore, ACT culture expands your baby’s cells. This concept might seem a little confusing, but think of it like this; when you bank with ACT your initial cord blood and cord tissue stem cells grow (like an investment!). That’s right, the way they process these stem cells allows your child’s cells to naturally replicate and multiply from an initial small amount of stem cells. Stem cells derived from cord blood and cord tissue are the youngest personal stem cells available to someone, but there are a very limited number of cells initially in the cord blood and cord tissue sample. American Cell Technology is one of the only banks that do this.
If your child ever needs to use these stem cells in their teenage or adult years, the number of cells that were natively available in their cord blood would likely not be enough to treat them. If this is something that concerns you, then American Cell Technology might just be the cord blood bank for you because they will actually increase the number of cells available through culture expanding.
What Does Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking with American Cell Technology (ACT) Look Like?
The process is actually very simple and right now ACT is offering Rookie Moms readers $250 off!
Once you have filled the initial form out online, they will send you your newborn banking kit. There’s nothing you will need to do with this kit besides keep it safe and bring it to the hospital with you when you deliver.
In the meantime, you will want to let your OBGYN or midwife know that you are using American Cell Technology and plan to bank your baby’s cord blood AND cord tissue sample. If you would like to only store your baby’s cord tissue stem cells, that is completely fine. ACT charges the same price for cord blood and cord tissue storage as their primary focus is to ensure that your child has plenty of cells available for processing. You will also need to do an Infectious Disease Screening, which ACT will help you set up and is included in your pricing.
You will bring your collection kit with you to the hospital when it’s time to deliver and hand it off to a doctor or nurse. They will know what to do! Once your baby has arrived and the cord blood AND cord tissue have been collected, you will call the medical courier (provided for you as part of the package) to come pick it up and send it off to an ACT facility.
What if I never had the opportunity to have my own cord blood and cord tissue stem cells banked at birth? Is there anything that I can do now?
If your own cord blood and cord tissue stem cells were not banked at birth, you still have the opportunity to bank your adult stem cells. ACT partners with medical professionals across the country that will take a small sample of adipose (fat) or bone marrow and send those samples to ACT for stem cell isolation, processing, and cryopreservation.
The initial sample extraction is simple and is done in around 15 minutes and under local anesthesia. Once ACT has processed your adult sample, you will have access to hundreds of millions of stem cells for potential future regenerative or therapeutic use throughout your lifetime.
3 Reasons Banking Your Baby’s Cord Blood is a Worthy Investment in Your Family’s Future
The first time I heard about cord blood banking was when a family member was suffering through ALS and my family found research about how cord blood and cord tissue stem cells could be used as therapy one day.
Even if the discoveries were not made in time to help us, this inspired us to have cord blood and tissue stem cells safely banked for the future for whatever may come our way.
Here are 3 reasons that make storing your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue a worthy investment!
- Stem cells from cord blood and cord tissue already have many powerful uses, but there are still more discoveries to be made! There is really no telling what these cells might be able to be used for in the future. Doctors and scientists are currently working on over 100 clinical applications for stem cell therapy and there are 7,000+ clinical trials going on.
- The stem cells in cord blood and cord tissue are some of the easiest to access so it makes sense to harvest them when given the opportunity. Collecting cord blood and cord tissue samples is completely painless for both mom and baby. The process is also very quick so it is not anything that should affect your birth experience.
- It’s like a form of insurance and it can bring a sense of comfort knowing that you have your own personal stem cells stored just in case you need them. ACT knows how important it is to be able to access these cells should you need them, so they have made sure that their customers are able to do so. American Cell Technology also takes steps to ensure that you are able to access your stored stem cells for more than just a one time-treatment. The way they store the cells will allow you lifelong access and keep the cells growing so there are enough cells for multiple uses.
We all make different choices for our families and I know how many important decisions pregnant moms must face, but I really hope that cord blood and cord tissue stem cell banking is something you consider. Click the link below to begin the process of banking with American Cell Technology today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best cord blood bank in USA?
There are many great cord blood banks in the USA, such as Cryocyte, Americord, and Miracle Cord. To find the best cord blood bank for your family consider things like services offered, annual fees, and accreditation.
What diseases can be cured with stem cells?
Stem cells are special because they have the ability to develop into many different kinds of cells, such as bone, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. Because of this, stem cells can be used in transplants that are a part of lifesaving treatment plans for various diseases ranging from cancers to genetic disorders.
Is stem cell treatment covered by insurance?
In most cases, stem cell treatment is not covered by insurance. This can vary depending on your insurance plan and what the exact treatment is, so I highly recommend speaking with a representative from your health insurance company.
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