Share this

The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking: What Every Expecting Parent Should Know
Cord blood refers to the blood that remains within the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of a baby

Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells, which have been proven to be highly effective in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Cord blood banking has emerged as a ground-breaking medical advancement that offers numerous potential benefits for expecting parents and their families. Over the past few decades, researchers and healthcare professionals have recognised the remarkable properties of cord blood and its potential for treating a wide range of diseases and conditions. This has led to the establishment of cord blood banks worldwide, enabling parents to store their baby’s cord blood for future use.

In this article, Dr Murugan Nandagopal, Senior Scientist and General Manager at LifeCell International, talks about the benefits of cord blood banking and also explains why it is an important consideration for expecting parents.

Cord blood banking: Understand the process

Cord blood refers to the blood that remains within the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of a baby. It contains hematopoietic stem cells, which are important for treating diseases such as cancers, immune deficiencies, and genetic disorders. These stem cells possess unique properties that set them apart from other cells in the body, such as their ability to divide and renew themselves over an extended period and their potential to develop into specialised cells. The stem cells extracted from cord blood, known as hematopoietic stem cells, have proven to be highly effective in the treatment of blood-related conditions like thalassemia, leukaemia and many more. To preserve these valuable stem cells, cord blood banking involves collecting blood from the umbilical cord immediately after birth, processing them, and storing them securely for future use. This process offers a potential treatment option for a wide range of diseases.

With such potential, it is important to understand the growing demand for stem cell transplants and how cord blood stem cells can address this need.

Globally, there is an increasing demand for hematopoietic stem cell transplants, with approximately 90,000 transplants being performed each year, a number that continues to rise. Furthermore, there has been a concerning rise in childhood cancer cases, with India alone accounting for nearly 50,000 cases annually, out of the 300,000 cases reported worldwide. These factors contribute to the growing need for bone marrow transplants. However, finding a matching donor can be challenging, with the probability, especially for individuals of Indian ethnicity, as low as 16 per cent, dropping to a mere 0.008 per cent in Indian registries which has fewer donors than an international registry.

Benefits of cord blood banking

There are many benefits associated with cord blood banking, which include:

  1. The relative ease of procurement: Cord blood is collected immediately after birth, tested, and stored, ensuring it is readily available in times of need. Preserving your baby’s cord blood stem cells eliminates concerns about the donor backing out at the last minute and increases the availability of matched unrelated stem cell donors.
  2. Less stringent matching criteria: Cord blood requires fewer matching parameters than adult bone marrow. A partial match of 6 out of 8 parameters is acceptable for cord blood stem cell transplants, making it 10-100 times easier to find a match.
  3. Absence of risk to the donor: Since cord blood is collected right after birth, tested, and cryopreserved, the chances of contamination are significantly lower. Additionally, there is a low likelihood of transmitting infectious agents.
  4. Low risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD): Cord blood transplants carry a lower risk of GVHD, a condition where donated stem cells attack the recipient’s body. This condition occurs when donated stem cells mistake the recipient’s body as foreign and attack it.
  5. Reduced morbidity and mortality: Transplanting of stem cells derived from cord blood is a safer alternative to other forms of transplant. When compared to bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, using umbilical cord blood for transplants is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality rates.

Different models of cord blood banking

Now that we have an understanding of the benefits of cord blood banking, let us explore three different models of cord blood banking: private, public, and community.

  • Private banking involves parents paying a fee to store their baby’s cord blood in a private bank. However, the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) recommends storing cord blood in public banks rather than private banks. The likelihood of using autologous (one’s own) cord blood stem cells is less than 0.04 per cent, as these stem cells cannot be used to treat certain genetic disorders, haematological cancers, or metabolic disorders.
  • Public banking operates on the principle of voluntary donation. Parents voluntarily contribute their newborn’s umbilical cord blood to public banks, establishing a collective repository of cord blood units. Individuals seeking a cord blood unit for transplantation treatment can avail themselves of a public bank, though the parents who donate the unit relinquish their rights to it. However, there are currently no public cord blood banks in India.
  • Community banking is a hybrid stem cell banking method which involves the collection and storage of stem cells from individuals within a specific community, creating a shared resource for potential future treatments. The family can utilise the cord blood in the future in case it is ever needed, or it can also be used to help someone else who is in dire need of a matching donor. This collaborative effort fosters advancements in regenerative medicine and provides hope for patients in need of stem cell therapies. Community banking usually costs less than private banking, while also contributing to a collective greater good.


Cord blood banking offers a multitude of benefits to expecting parents and their families. It provides a potential lifeline for the treatment of various diseases and disorders with a reduced risk of complications. Additionally, the stored cord blood represents a valuable resource for future medical advancements. Whether choosing private, public or community banking, cord blood banking empowers families with the option to harness the regenerative potential of stem cells for the well-being of their child and potentially even others in need. As an expecting parent, it is important to thoroughly consider the benefits and make an informed decision that takes into account your family’s future medical needs.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on

Share this
You May Also Like

10 Restaurant Chains With the Best Brownies

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or…

Biden announces $600m for more free Covid-19 tests in anticipation of surge

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday it is providing $600m in funding…

Nearly HALF of parents have given their children under 13 melatonin to help them sleep – despite risk

Nearly half of parents in the US have given the sleep supplement…

I Tried 4 Pairs of HOKA Sneakers & One Beats the Rest By a Mile

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or…

'I'm a dentist – these are four things you should never do before brushing your teeth'

While brushing your teeth doesn’t exactly seem like rocket science, there are…

CDC data shows obesity prevalence more common in a growing number of states

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence…

How Much Protein You Need To Eat for Weight Loss

You’ve likely heard that protein is the go-to nutrient for weight loss.…

Whether or Not We Need to Remove Hair From the Body

Have you ever wondered why we even have hair on our bodies?…

Eliminate malaria once and for all or it will come back stronger, UN warned

African leaders have warned that the world is facing the “biggest malaria…

FDA rejects approval of epinephrine nasal spray

FDA rejects approval of epinephrine nasal spray – CBS News Watch CBS…

Melbourne's Conversion Digital offers to pay for workers' Ozempic prescriptions

Melbourne’s Conversion Digital offers to pay for workers’ Ozempic prescriptions By Ashley…

How FDA's top vaccines official is timing his COVID and flu shots

A top-ranking Food and Drug Administration official, responsible for overseeing the approvals…