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Umbilical cord donation: Rich in blood stem cells

Until recently I had little awareness of the value of an umbilical cord following the delivery of a baby. That was before I listened to an interview on BBC Radio 2 with a woman who had arranged to donate her umbilical cord following the birth of her baby, resulting in calls from other women who had done the same, and some members of the public who had benefitted from such donations.

Did you know that the cord blood is rich in blood stem cells that are used to treat many different cancers, genetic disorders and immune deficiencies?

By 2022, more than 67,000 women had donated their umbilical cords with no pain involved – other than the natural pain of childbirth! What a wonderful thing to do, passing the chance of life from a little human starting out in life.

The NHS Cord Blood Bank explains that when a cord blood donation is given to someone in need of life-saving treatment, it can develop into the type of blood cell that a patient’s body needs.

Medicine continues to develop with fascinating results. More conditions and diseases are being treated successfully from the stem cells within the cord blood. The NHS Cord Blood Bank reports that research of cord blood is creating therapies for conditions like strokes, brain injury and heart attacks.

Have you heard of the Anthony Nolan Charity, a charity aimed at saving the lives of people with blood cancer? Visit its website where you can read stories from people who have benefitted from umbilical cord donations and register to donate if you wish. The charity runs a public cord bank collecting at the following five hospitals:

  • St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester
  • SMW St Mary’s Wythenshawe
  • King’s College Hospital, London
  • Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • Leicester General Hospital

It’s amazing to think that lives could be changed from umbilical cords that are often thrown away.

In the words of the Anthony Nolan Charity “your little one could be a little lifesaver”. What a lovely way to start your life.