With the promise and pitfalls of umbilical cord blood samples in mind, how should parents decide whether to put their baby’s blood on ice, either for their own family’s future use or as a donation for the greater good? It’s a tricky calculation, one that changes based on a family’s risk threshold, dreams for the future and, of course, money.
Instead of floundering about aimlessly, let’s start with the professionals. In 2015, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists put out an opinion that, at this point, the science doesn’t support routine cord banking. As such, cord banking shouldn’t interfere with normal obstetric or neonatal care, including the timing of cord clamping. “The routine storage of umbilical cord blood as ‘biologic insurance’ against future disease is not recommended,” the authors of that opinion write.
The American Academy of Pediatrics... Read More
Umbilical cords tie mother and baby together, if only for a brief spell. But the stuff inside these cords has the potential to be useful well after birth. Cells in umbilical cord blood are already being used to treat certain diseases, including... Read More
When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you have to make a lot of decisions. Will coffee remain a part of your life? Where are you going to give birth? What are you going to name the baby? What values will you teach him? Do you really... Read More
When you’re pregnant, you spend a lot of time on scales. Every doctor appointment begins with hopping (or waddling) up for a weigh-in. Health care workers then plot those numbers into a (usually) ascending curve as the weeks go by.A morbid curiosity... Read More
Ultrasounds during pregnancy can be lots of fun, offering peeks at the baby-to-be. But ultrasounds aren’t just a way to get Facebook fodder. They are medical procedures that involve sound waves, technology that could, in theory, affect a growing... Read More
For mice, birth mode matters when it comes to weight. Within their first years of life, pups born by C-section gained more weight than mice born vaginally, researchers report. Scientists attribute this heft to different microbiomes — the communities... Read More
Words can’t describe the pandemonium that follows a child’s birth, but I’ll try anyway. After my first daughter was born, I felt like a giant had picked up my life, shaken it hard, martini-style, and returned it to the ground. The familiar objects... Read More