Ahhh the last trimester.. This is where I am now. Roughly about 7 more weeks before I could actually give birth!
It’s been 8 years since my last pregnancy, and that means concerning all things “baby”, I’m back to square one–and I mean EVERYTHING from the construction of the nursery, to shopping for baby clothes, bottles, diapers, a breast pump, you name it!
There’s one thing I never got to do with my first two children though, and that is Cord Blood Banking. Simply because at that time, it was fairly new in the Philippines and frankly, I was not well informed. I didn’t take the time to research about the benefits of Stem Cell therapy unlike now- just one click on Google and it’s all there. With all the further research and technology nowadays, not to mention the countless success stories- it really is an opportunity I believe we, as parents should take advantage of.
The way I see it, Cord Blood Banking is similiar to the concept of Insurance. You get it while you can, and hope that you won’t need it in the future.. You have nothing to lose. Worst case scenario, it’s readily available! No regrets.
Here are a few things you should know and might want to consider when deciding.
Cord blood stem cells are drawn from the umbilical cord upon birth. They are a perfect match for the baby, and carry a significant probability of a match for other family members, especially the siblings and parents. The procedure itself is quick, safe and painless.
Pardon the blood.. But this is to show just how much they need to extract. Ideally about 200,000,000 stem cells, roughly 40ml. (Photo from their website)
25 years ago, cord blood stem cells were used to treat only one disease and now they treat over 80 diseases! (Acute & chronic leukaemias, Myelodysplastic syndromes, Stem cell disorders, Lymphoprolife disorders, Congenital Immune System disorders, Plasma Cell disorders, other malignancies like Brain tumors, Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer & etc) For a complete list, click here.
There are only 2 Cord Blood Banking companies here in the Philippines. One of which, is StemCord.
StemCord is the first and only Fact-Netcord accreddited- blood bank in South East Asia and Singapore. It was an important factor for me because according to my research, it meets all standards internationally and I won’t have to worry about it being mishandled or worse, contaminated.
Here’s another photo I found on their site.
StemCord stores the cord blood in 2 separate locations in Singapore- just to make sure that there is always a backup unit, for our security and peace of mind. With all the brownouts here in Manila, and even issues like flooding i mean who knows I’d rather just store them elsewhere.
Now one big factor for me aside from the major benefits was the monetary investment involved..But they have several plans to choose from that make it quite affordable. An Annual, 6, 11, and 21 Year Plan, which are all actually found on the website.
I got to sit down with a StemCord representative and registered nurse that will assist my Doctor, and actually wait until the extraction is done. I really appreciated their thorough explanation of the entire procedure. After meeting them, really there was no turning back. I signed the contract there and then, wrote the check- I was completely sold.
Now if you still can’t decide- you can always call 723-2333 or visit the website http://www.stemcord.com.ph for more information. I also found a few blogs and websites that were quite helpful.
Now that I’m on my 29th week, my OB-GYN is informed that I have chosen to do this procedure with StemCord.. I’ve got my blue box ready and my StemCord representative’s number saved on both our phones (mine & my husbands).. So when labor comes, all we need to do is call that we’re on the way and trust that they know the next few steps to take.
Exciting times ahead! Like I mentioned before, it really is a blessing to be pregnant at a time like this- where there are so many options and solutions for our childrens future. But if we sit back and ignore the opportunity while it’s there.. Who loses in the end?
I want to be able to say that I did everything I could for my kids.. And this is just one of them!
Photos of myself by: Louie Arcilla
StemCord Photos: http://www.stemcord.com.ph