When you start the journey into parenthood, like with many ‘industries of the heart’ like weddings and funerals, there is a huge commercial aspect to it. Businesses love emotion, and emotion usually serve as a marketers dream that results in spending. And when you’re becoming a parent (especially for the first time) you tend to be sucked into a lot of purchasing that you may not require. We fended off most of these so called must-have expenses, but one we both agreed was well worth the time and money was stem cell banking. We did our homework, and went with with CryoSave Arabia as we felt the service offering and management of a very long list of questions both technical and practical questions was very well responded to, and made us comfortable with our decision. It may seem a bit daunting to think about but my advice is: Don’t let scientific jargon put you off from making important decisions for the future.
What is it?
Stem cells are considered to be the building blocks of our bodies, and they turn into specialized cells that make up the human body – blood, skin, muscle and bones. As an adult, your stem cells can only form according to the tissue they are found in. Stem cells found in the umbilical cord blood and tissue of newborn babies are brand new (max only 9 months old) and can divide and differentiate into specific functions better and faster than adult cells. They have had little exposure to disease or infection, and have been protected inside your pregnant body. By collecting and storing these cells, you’re offering your child that benefit at any stage later in life, should they ever need it.
Why do it?
The stem cells stored can be used to treat a number of diseases, many of which cannot be treated any other way, or only by extremely difficult or expensive treatments such as bone marrow transplant.
What does the banking procedure involve?
Your obstetrician collects the blood and cord straight after you give birth into a specific kit that you are provided with. This is then collected by the CryoSave team, who test, sort, treat and store this for you. You have the option to store them in one or more (by splitting the sample) locations worldwide, and call on them should you need it one day.
What happens when you give birth?
The collection process is non-invasive, in fact, you don’t go through anything additional outside of the birth process. Your doctor should be informed of your plans, and will do what they need to in terms of collection once you’ve delivered – with a cord that normally would be disposed of by the hospital anyway. Your husband then calls the collection number and they collect the boxed up kit within an hour or so after giving birth with a few signatures and a medical information form completed. As a mum, you barely notice anything at all.
Where is it stored?
The sample is carefully stored in a nitrogen formula in a country of your choice, where CryoSave is available. Later on, you can also opt to move it to a location that has storage facilities near you.
We opted to store ours in Dubai and Geneva, and potentially may look at moving one or both parts should we relocate in the future.
What does it cost?
This varies from country to country, but in the UAE you can pay anything from AED 16k to AED 18k
Andrew and I felt so strongly about it, that we were happy to promote this to friends and family. We’d hate to see anyone go through the potential heartache of having a loved one suffer an illness that pre-planing through stem cell banking could cure. As parents we want to try and protect our kids to the best of our ability, and we are confident in our choice. Andrew being more scientific in his background looked very thoroughly into the process and benefits, and we shared our decision process with you below:
If you have any questions, please feel free to pop them into the comments below and I will certainly have them answered by the team at CryoSave Arabia.
Video: Vit from KB4East
*Disclaimer: While we were willing to offer marketing support to CryoSave Arabia due to our belief in the concept, it is important to note that we did purchase our kit.
Please consult a medical/specialist on anything health related specific to your personal circumstance.