July has been set apart as “Cord Blood Awareness Month “
Why the Awareness?
The aim is to raise awareness among expectant parents on the importance of saving Umbilical cord blood and its valuable stem cells.
The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother’s placenta. During fetal development in the womb, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby supplying nutrients. After birth, the cord is clamped and cut off.
Eventually between 1 to 3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off.
Cord blood is the residual blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following childbirth.
Umbilical cord blood is rich in powerful stem cells, similar to those found in the bone marrow.
This Umbilical cord blood contains billions of these stem cells, serving as a valuable medical resource that is already used to treat over 80 different conditions.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are referred to as the ‘building blocks of life because they are the foundation of all organs, tissues, blood, and the immune system.
These stem cells serve as the internal repair system due to their unique ability to self-renew indefinitely and divide into specialized cells.
This means they can transform into many different cell types within the body to repair, regrow or regenerate damaged cells within the body.
Following the arrival of your baby, the umbilical cord is often thrown away as medical waste along with the precious stem cells that are in it.
However, thanks to scientific research, we are continuing to discover more diseases and conditions that can be successfully treated using umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Trends & facts about umbilical cord blood stem cells;
Umbilical cord blood stem cells were first discovered in 1978
The first successful umbilical cord blood transplant took place in 1988.
Cord blood transplant did not only work but had several advantages over bone marrow transplantation including a lower risk of graft-versus-host disease.
Since then, more than 40,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide and cord blood continues to be investigated in clinical trials to treat various conditions.
Disease conditions treated with Cord Blood ;
- Immune Disorder
- Blood cancer
- Sickle cell
Umbilical cord stem cells have even been used to treat severely ill COVID-19 cases as well as to treat sporting injuries on famous athletes such as Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, and David Beckham.
Regenerative medicine is an exciting new area of medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs, or tissues. Stem cells from the umbilical cord cells are considered to be extremely important for future developments within regenerative medicine
Researchers are investigating the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells to treat a wide array of conditions, including the following:
- Brain Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Hearing Loss
- Bone Fractures
- Crohn’s Disease
- Heart Attack
- Liver Disease
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Lung Disease
It is often for this regenerative potential that thousands of families across the world choose to store their baby’s cord blood.
- Cristina Navarrete, (2009) “Cord Blood Banking: A Historical Perspective” BJH Review, available at:
- Joanne Kurtzberg, (2017) “A History of Cord Blood Banking and Transplantation”, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, available at:
- ClinicalTrials.gov, (2020) “Studies found for cord blood”, available at: