Health and Wellness

Umbilical Cord And Its Uses

Janaki Srinivasan
0 to 1 years

Created by Janaki Srinivasan
Updated on Jan 30, 2018

Umbilical Cord And Its Uses

Umbilical cord, also called the navel string, connects the developing embryo with the placenta. Through the umbilical vein, the unborn baby draws oxygenated and nutrient rich food from the placenta. Did you know that the fetal heart pumps back deoxygenated, nutrient depleted blood back to the placenta through the umbilical arteries?

The umbilical cord is made up of tissues and contains blood. Both are a rich source of stem cells. Earlier the cord blood was disposed as waste but now studies show that they are capable of regenerating healthy blood and immune systems.

Let's take a look at some of the uses of the cord blood so that as mothers-to-be you can take an informed decision and understand whether you really need to go for stem cell banking or not.

Some Important Uses Of Umbilical Cord

  1. After the birth of the baby, traces of cord blood are left in the umbilical cord and placenta. These can be easily collected without much risk to the mother and the baby. It contains a rare type of blood found in the bone marrow – also known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). HSCs are known to make every type of cell found in the blood, RBC, WBC and platelets. Therefore, they can be used for bone marrow transplants to treat diseases related to blood
  2. In fact, some studies even suggest that they contain other types of stem cells which belong to the nerves. But there is no confirmation to prove it and are not widely accepted among scientists. (Source: https://www.eurostemcell.org/cord-blood-stem-cells-current-uses-and-future-challenges)
  3. Umbilical cord cells are also beneficial in treating leukemia –acute, chronic and juvenile or blood cancer as they are commonly referred to
  4. These stem cells can treat Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that affects the leucocytes
  5. They can be used for other blood related disorders in the body such as anemia, sickle cell anemia, Beta Thalassemia, any normal or severe immunodeficiency, multiple myeloma etc
  6. It can even treat inherited immune and metabolic disorders such as Hurler syndrome, Hunter syndrome, Osteoporosis, Lesch Nyhan syndrome etc
  7. Besides, it is also known to treat tumors that affect various parts of the body such as Neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma and medulloblastoma

Though highly beneficial, the awareness of the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood is not as widespread as it should be. However, many companies are coming forward and making mothers to-be aware and educating them on the need for cord blood collection as a powerful tool to save their children in future. Yet, in many cases, this useful lifesaving resource gets thrown away after the birth of the baby.

What Does the Future Hold in Store?

Right now, several trials are on to understand and expand the potential of umbilical cord stem cells to cure neurological conditions, such as autism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, hearing loss, cardiovascular diseases, HIV, but there is no conclusive result to prove their effectiveness. Scientists are of the opinion that more research is needed to understand how cord cells behave and how they might be useful.

Should I Store My Baby's Umbilical Cord Cells for Future Use?

Whether you want to store umbilical cord cells or not lies purely in your hands. Yes, the prices to store the cells are quite high and there are few selected companies in the country, which offer the service. So do exercise caution and speak with your doctor first before taking any decision.

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| Mar 09, 2018

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| Feb 01, 2018

lu

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| Jan 30, 2018

very useful info !

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| Jan 30, 2018

in slot do hope Po

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| Jan 30, 2018

please

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