St. Mark's Hospital - March 21, 2019

Expectant parents have a lot of decisions to make, but often overlook one of the most important questions: what to do with the umbilical cord after baby is born? If parents make no decision, the umbilical cord will be discarded as medical waste. However, if parents choose to donate the umbilical cord to a public cord blood bank, the leftover blood in the cord can improve, prolong or even save lives.

Currently, there are more than 80 diseases that can be treated with cord blood, including leukemia and lymphoma blood cancers. This is because umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells that form new blood. These unique cells also allow cord blood to be used as an alternative to bone marrow during a surgical transplant process for those in need. This is good news for thousands of patients, since bone marrow transplants are the only known cures for many diseases.

15 percent of transplant patients receive cord blood from public donation cord blood banks. Cord blood donation is not harmful or risky to mother or child, and does not make the birthing process any more difficult. It's hard to believe your little miracle can be a miracle for others, but with the donation of baby's leftover cord blood, it can be just that.

Ask your doctor today to learn more about cord blood donations.