Afterbirth used to be discarded as medical waste, but now more and more people are seeing the benefits of it. Cord blood is blood drawn from the umbilical cord and the placenta after the baby is born. Cord blood contains stem cells that may be frozen for later use in medical therapies, such as regenerative medicine or stem cell transplantation; they have the potential to save a person's life. The stem cells in cord blood are different from embryonic stem cells in a fertilized egg or any stem cells obtained from a child or adult, as they can grow into blood and immune system cells.
Read on to find out how cord blood banking works, and how you can get started.