Cord blood banking checklist for expecting parents
Top 5 considerations that no one tells you about cord blood banking.
You may have heard of cord blood banking during your pregnancy but are unsure if it is right for you and your family. Let's dive deep into the subject of cord blood banking and discuss some lesser-known factors that can help you make an informed decision.
1. Unleashing your baby's hidden superpower
Did you know that cord blood was once regarded as medical waste and simply discarded? It turns out that your baby’s cord blood is almost like a superpower, with the potential to save lives by treating over 80 diseases, including leukaemia, lymphoma and thalassaemia, to name a few.1
Cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 40,000 stem cell transplants around the world to help patients rebuild healthy blood and immune systems. Families can get access to this rich source of life-saving stem cells through cord blood banking. This is the process of collecting your baby's cord blood from the umbilical cord and storing it in a cryogenic tank until the family asks for it to be released.
What is so special about cord blood?
Cord blood is a rich source of lifesaving haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or blood-forming stem cells, which have the potential to differentiate into different types of cells as they are in their most primitive form. Therefore, these cells are faster at generating healthy cells and are also more tolerant to tissue mismatches, which may happen in transplants involving an unrelated donor.
2. A value-for-money investment for the whole family
When you decide to store your baby's cord blood, you are not only protecting your baby, but also protecting your whole family for life. How does this work?
Cord blood stem cells are a guaranteed match for your baby as they can convert themselves into other types of cells that the body requires. Your baby's cord blood is also a ready source of genetically related stem cells as siblings have up to a 75% chance of being a partial genetic match.2 Considering how much it would only cost to store cord blood exclusively for the whole family, cord blood banking is a value-for-money investment.
3. When is the best time to decide?
The decision to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells should be made with your spouse and planned ahead of time, to avoid missing the opportunity as you can only collect your baby's cord blood at birth. You can start this process as early as the second trimester (Week 13 to 28).
Cord blood collection doesn't interfere with the birthing process, whether by C-section or vaginal delivery. It only takes 5 minutes and is painless, quick, and safe for both mother and child.
4. Use your child's CDA (Child Development Account) to offset the cost of cord blood banking
Your child's CDA can be used to pay for a variety of expenses, including education, healthcare, and even cord blood banking. You can pay for Cordlife's cord blood banking packages using your child's CDA. You would only be paying half the cost of cord blood banking if you took advantage of the government's dollar-for-dollar matching scheme by topping up your child's CDA. The table below shows your child's entitlement.
|Birth Order||Cash Gift||First Step Grant|
(no initial deposit required)*
|Maximum Matching Contribution by Government in CDA||Total|
|1st child||$8,000||$3,000||Up to $3,000||Up to $14,000|
|2nd child#||$8,000||$3,000||Up to $6,000||Up to $17,000|
|3rd child & 4th child||$10,000||$3,000||Up to $9,000||Up to $22,000|
|5th child & higher||$10,000||$3,000||Up to $15,000||Up to $28,000|
#Applicable for children who are born on or after 1 Jan 2021. If the child is born before 1 Jan 2021,
the maximum government co-matching is $3,000.
5. Choose a family cord blood bank that goes the extra mile
A family cord blood bank is one that stores the cord blood unit exclusively for your family's use. The cord blood that you stored is usually free to be used for treatment. Choosing the right partner to protect your baby's cord blood can ensure that your child or family has access to a medical resource in an emergency.
Parents must ensure that their baby's precious lifesaving stem cells are stored with a trusted and reliable partner who will be around for a long time, as the stem cells may be needed many years later. Here are some other factors to consider before making a decision.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cordlife is the largest family cord blood bank in Singapore and has just celebrated their 21st birthday in 2022.
Is the cord blood bank accredited?
Check to see if the family cord blood bank you choose is accredited by international bodies such as the AABB and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). This means that, as determined by regular and rigorous audits, your preferred family cord blood bank adheres to the highest quality standards in handling, processing, and storage of your baby’s cord blood.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cordlife is one of eight cord blood banks in the world to have both AABB and FACT accreditations.
How many cord blood units have they released for transplant purposes, and where have the units been sent?
Determine whether your preferred family cord blood bank has a proven transplant track record and where the cord blood units were released for transplant use. This validates the cord blood bank's cord blood banking experience and confirms that the cord blood stem cells stored in their care meet the highest standards and remained viable for transplantation.
How many cell lines can the bank help you store?
By storing more cell lines, your family will have greater access to stem cells that can be used in therapeutic and regenerative applications in the future, particularly for conditions for which there is currently no known cure. Apart from cord blood, one of Singapore's family cord blood banks can help with the storage of cord lining, a patented umbilical cord source containing two types of cells found in the umbilical cord lining - mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and cord lining epithelial cells (CLECs). Cord lining stem cells have shown great promise in aiding the repair of injured tissues and organs.
DID YOU KNOW?
When you store your child's cord lining stem cells with a licensed family cord blood bank, the unit will automatically be included and registered in the Global Cord Registry. Only cord lining units registered with the Global Cord Registry can be legally used for transplants and cellular therapies.
Scan the QR code below to make an appointment to learn more about umbilical cord stem cells at Mummys Market retail store's “Knowledge Lounge powered by Cordlife” and receive a special treat*.
Scan the QR code below to download Cordlife's free comprehensive information pack to learn more about the lifesaving benefits of umbilical cord banking.
- Diseases treated with stem cells and their potential applications. Cordlife Singapore page. https://www.cordlife.com/sg/treatable-diseases. Accessed January 28, 2022.
- Jawdat D, Saleh S, Sutton P, et al. Chances of Finding an HLA-Matched Sibling: The Saudi Experience. ScienceDirect. 2009; 15(10): 1342-1334.
- Baby Bonus Scheme page. Ministry of Social and Family Development page. https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/Strong-and-Stable-Families/Supporting-Families/Pages/Baby-Bonus-Scheme.aspx. Accessed January 28, 2022.
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