What is Cord Blood?

When your baby is born, the blood left inside the umbilical cord is very special. It contains powerful hematopoietic stem cells, which have a 30-year history of saving lives.

There’s also exciting research on using cord blood for regenerative medicine, which aims to harness the stem cells inside to help the body heal itself.

Cord blood banking, also known as newborn stem cell preservation, is the process of saving the remaining blood in the umbilical cord, after birth, for potential future use.

6 Reasons to Preserve Your Baby’s Cord Blood

  • 1.Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs)

    Cord blood is well-known as a valuable source of powerful stem cells like HSCs. HSCs are already used in the treatment of over 80 conditions of the blood and immune system as part of a stem cell transplant. Learn More

    Plus, cord blood contains other potentially beneficial cells, like regulatory T cells, which are being researched in laboratory studies to see if they may be relevant for patients with autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes.

  • 2.Your Best Chance to Preserve Young HSCs

    You’re probably familiar with bone marrow. It contains the same type of stem cells as cord blood. But why might cord blood be better?

    As your body ages, so do your bone marrow stem cells. In contrast, your newborn’s stem cells are brand new; they haven't been exposed to aging and harmful environmental factors.45

    Collecting them at birth ensures you’re saving the youngest HSCs you can while avoiding invasive and more difficult procedures to collect them from bone marrow in the future, if needed.

  • 3.A Long History of Helping Save Lives

    For the past 30 years, cord blood stem cells have been used to rebuild healthy blood and immune systems as part of a stem cell transplant. They’ve helped more than 40,000 patients worldwide with certain cancers, blood disorders, and immune disorders as part of a stem cell transplant, from both donated and privately banked cord blood.108

  • 4.Today Is Just the Beginning

    Researchers continue learning more about the power of cord blood stem cells—and the future looks bright. In fact, cord blood is being researched in over 100 clinical trials around the world to help improve current applications in stem cell transplants and to investigate possible future applications in regenerative medicine.82

    What are they looking at? Neurological conditions like autism and cerebral palsy, cardiovascular conditions like hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and even acquired hearing loss.

  • 5.A Match For Your Baby? Check!

    Your baby’s stem cells may provide your immediate family with more options in the future. Your baby is always a perfect genetic match to his or her cord blood stem cells. Full siblings have a 75% chance of being at least a partial genetic match. Parents are always a partial match.

    In general, the stronger the match, the better the outcome. Depending on the condition being treated, a physician may look to use a child’s own stem cells or may prefer to use those from a partial or full matched donor, like a sibling. Learn more in this quick video.

  • 6.Frozen in Time

    While we can’t suspend time itself, we can stop the clock on the aging of your newborn’s stem cells. Given all the information available today, it is believed that cord blood units in proper cryogenic storage should be able to be preserved indefinitely, protecting them from aging and environmental factors.45

Cord Blood by the Numbers
30+years
The first cord blood transplant occurred in 1988. More than 30 years later, researchers and physicians have continued to learn more about current and potential uses to help the body heal itself.
80+diseases
Can be used as part of a stem cell transplant to help rebuild the immune system for certain cancers, blood, and immune disorders. See the full list.
40,000+transplants
Cord blood has been used in more than 40,000 stem cell transplants worldwide, from both public donor and private family banks, to help rebuild healthy blood and immune systems. Watch how one family used it for leukemia.
100+clincal trials
With more than 100 clinical trials in progress worldwide studying cord blood to help advance current applications in transplant medicine, as well as investigating possible future applications in regenerative medicine, we’re optimistic that the future holds even more potential. Learn about CBR-funded research.
over80%
Regenerative medicine could be a game-changer. More than 80% of the cord blood used by CBR client families has been for experimental regenerative medicine applications, like cerebral palsy and autism. See the list of CBR client uses.
75%chance
Full siblings have up to a 75% chance of being at least a partial genetic match. Your baby is always a 100% match to their own cord blood. Use will be determined by the treating physician. Watch the video.

A parent’sperspective:

  • There was never a question of whether or not we would do it. We banked for all three of our children. At 16 months, our second daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We wanted to do everything we could for her, and we used her stem cells in a clinical trial at Duke University.

    Jessica H., mom of 3
    CBR Client
  • We will be banking privately. I have type 1 diabetes. There’s a lot of research going on stem cells to help treat type 1, so we think it’s best to preserve now.

    Meganicu
    BabyCenter mom
  • Having banked my son's cord blood with CBR gives me the peace of mind to know that the unexpected things that could face my son, I may have another tool in the toolbox to fight it with. It's an investment in our future, and I am so glad is there.

    Michelle H., mom of 1 toddler
    CBR Client
  • One of our good friend’s son is alive today because of cord blood. It’s a very worthwhile cause that I happily promote.

    Juliamdelaney
    What To Expect mom
  • Carter was born a healthy baby boy in 2000, and we chose to preserve his cord blood with CBR. Thirteen years later he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Everyday, science is getting closer to using stem cells to help cure this disease. We are so thankful that we preserved his, and we hope that one day he may benefit from research.

    Cindy
    CBR Client

Newborn Stem Cells in Action

See today's exciting uses—and tomorrow's possibilities.

Take a look