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Tag Archive: stem cell banking

  1. Come see us at The Baby and Toddler Show in Liverpool, 28th – 29th May

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    Our team are heading to The Baby and Toddler Show in Liverpool this weekend, 28 to 29 May, and we can’t wait to meet expectant parents.

    Win a Moses basket

    Visit our stand on F12 for your chance to win a beautiful Moses basket worth £100 from The Little Green Sheep.

    All you need to do is to scan the QR code on the stand, enter your detail and wait to see if you’re the lucky winner!

    Buy tickets

    There are plenty of great offers on tickets for The Baby and Toddler Show.

    Save 40% – Enjoy an amazing saving of 40% with code EXLP70.

    We also have 50 complimentary ticket on offer – use code EXLP55 to enjoy free entry.

    Hope to see you there!

    Got a question in the meantime?

    Get in touch with our team who will be able to answer all your questions about cord blood and cord tissue banking.

  2. Save up to £500 on our Family Plus packages

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    Protect your little one for less with our amazing April offer!

    Their cord blood can be used to treat over 80+ conditions and cord tissue is currently being used in clinical trials for conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism and Cystic Fibrosis. It is hoped that in the future cord tissue will play an important part in a variety of medical and clinical procedures to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue.

    Save up to £300 off our Family Plus 25 Years package

    Use code APRIL300 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £1,950
    • Discounted cost – £1,650

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out to £60.42 a month over 24 months.

    Save up to £500 off our Family Plus Annual package

    Use code APRIL500 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £2,650
    • Discounted cost – £2,150

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out £97.92 a month for 24 months

    Save up to £500 off our Family Plus 50 Years package

    Use code APRIL500 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £4,050
    • Discount cost – £3,550

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out to £147.92 a month for 24 months.

    Why choose Biovault Family?

    There are numerous reasons to choose us to bank your child’s cord blood and cord tissue. For now, here’s just a few. We:

    • Offer a fully inclusive package saving up to £5,000 compared to other blood banks with no additional charge if you store for 50 years
    • Store funds in a separate Escrow account. This gives you complete peace of mind in case anything happens.
    • Partner with the NHS, so we have higher accreditations than the other blood banks we release stem cells back into the NHS daily
    • Offer 1 year’s free StemCellCare insurance, which pays out a lump sum of £75,000 if you need to use your stem cells
    • Store in one location – Once your stem cells have been processed, they are in an extremely fragile state. Due to this we believe the risk of damage occurring during transit is higher than the risk of a catastrophic event occurring at our facility
    • Have a voucher referral scheme – hand out your vouchers to anyone who is pregnant, and they sign up to our services to receive a £100 love to shop voucher. They receive a 10% discount – these vouchers are unlimited for you. If you are on the 0% payment plan, get £100 off your payment!
    • Are also a Human Tissue Bank – the other companies are blood banks only

    More affordable than other cord blood banks

    Our Family Plus 25- and 50-year packages is inclusive of annual storage. Other blood banks will charge you an annual storage fee, which can increase the amount you pay by £2,500 over 25 years.

    Whilst many discount their initial package costs with an offer, the annual storage means you can sometimes be paying twice as much.

    Have a look at our price comparison page to see how our standard cord blood / cord blood and cord tissue packages compare to our competitors.

    T and Cs

    Please note that this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

  3. Umbilical cord blood transplant cures a woman of HIV 

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    More than 40 years after the HIV virus was first encountered researchers are still fighting to develop ways to cure HIV, including a range of potential gene therapies. Now one New York woman has been cured of HIV, which remains one of humanity’s most ‘resilient’ viruses. 

    HIV AIDS arrived in the late ‘70s. By the early ‘80s, it was rife, and a brand new pandemic had arrived. In 2020 alone, about 690,000 people died of the virus. Now there’s ‘VB’, a new and more infectious variant of the HIV virus. Luckily it’s treatable.

    There are hints about a cancer drug that could one day work alongside an existing HIV medicine to kill the virus. That’s one for the future. But a few days ago we heard some truly wonderful news about a woman who has been cured of HIV thanks to an umbilical cord blood transplant. Here’s what you need to know. 

    2007’s landmark HIV cure

    In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown was the first person to be cured of HIV. His transplant, from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV, worked. Since then it has only happened twice more, once for a man called Adam Castillejo, and once with the current female New York patient, we’re discussing. All three people had cancer, needing a stem cell transplant to survive, and curing HIV wasn’t the main aim of the treatment. 

    New York City’s HIV therapy triumph 

    The woman was given a transplant of umbilical cord blood. The other two people we mentioned who have been ‘cured’ of AIDS were given adult stem cells from bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood is much more widely available compared to the adult stem cells used for the first two cures. And it also doesn’t come with the need for a close match between the donor and the recipient, either.

    The woman stopped taking antiretroviral drugs in October 2020 after a transplant of stem cells containing a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV invasion. Since then she hasn’t seen any detectable signs of HIV virus despite extensive testing. Now she’s being hailed as the third person in the world, and the first female, to be cured of the virus that has killed countless millions.

    It all began with leukaemia treatment 

    Experts say the transplant method is too risky for most HIV patients. This is the first time it has been used as a ‘functional cure’ for HIV. The woman, who was suffering from the blood cancer leukaemia, was given a stem cell transplant taken from a person who had a natural resistance to the virus that causes AIDS. Now she has been free of the AIDS virus for 14 months. 

    The transplanted cells had a genetic mutation that stops the HIV virus from infecting them. Scientists think the woman’s immune system has developed resistance to HIV. This is amazing news for us, adding another string to an already impressive bow of potential umbilical blood stem cell treatments for nasty illnesses.  It also brings hope to the millions of people – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa – who are living with the HIV virus. 

    What does the future hold for umbilical cord stem cells and a cure for HIV? 

    As Sharon Lewin, president of the International Aids Society, says, while this transplant method isn’t viable for most people living with HIV, it ‘confirms that a cure for HIV is possible and further strengthens using gene therapy as a viable strategy for an HIV cure.’ 

    While the study is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and a scientific consensus hasn’t yet been reached, it’s hopeful. And when you’re living with AIDS, hope means a lot. 

    Bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood

    You never know when your child may become sick. By taking a few minutes to bank your baby’s stem cells after birth, you could protect them for years to come. Talk to our team today – download our brochure to find out more or book your free consultation!

    Sources

    stem cell preservation

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

  4. Plymouth-based Biovault Family supports free baby safety workshops for all

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    Plymouth-based Biovault Family has announced a new partnership with The Baby Academy to provide free baby safety workshops.

    The sessions are available on line via My Baby Academy and provide parents with practical advice on topics such as allergic reactions in babies, baby rashes, teething, baby ear infections, and administering medicine correctly to your baby.

    Biovault Family is the UK’s largest private human tissue bank which is licensed to handle all human tissue types including cord blood and tissue.

    Jo Kingston, head of sales at Biovault Family, said: “We are all so passionate about making baby safety accessible to all, and wanted to support a programme that gave provision for this in a fun way. The Baby Academy is run by a brilliant team of experts who share their knowledge on all sorts of topics around baby safety and we’re proud to be supporting this initiative. The workshops are completely free of charge to all parents across the UK.”

    Based in Plymouth’s International Medical and Technology Park beside its partners at Derriford Teaching Hospital, Biovault Family has led the way in human tissue processing and storage since 2004. It provides both tissue and cellular processing and storage to the NHS and to strategic private partners around the world.  

    It also has an umbilical cord blood and tissue banking service, a process in which cord blood — a rich source of stem cells — is taken from the umbilical cord of a new born baby after delivery and stored for future use, either for personal use, or by a close member of the family.

    Jo explained: “A baby’s umbilical cord is possibly the richest available source of stem cells they will ever have. With cord blood banking, you can collect these powerful cells from the umbilical cord and tissue and store them for use in stem cell therapies.

    “It’s believed that cord blood stem cells are one of the cornerstones of regenerative medicine and these stem cells are currently being used in thousands of clinical trials for many incurable diseases, such as cerebral palsy, autism and diabetes

    In the future, they could be used to repair your baby’s damaged tissue, regenerate old organs or even replace body parts.”

    My Baby Academy provides a number of courses led by a team of health professionals and delivered online in real-time on an interactive platform. You can book your free place. You can find out more about cord blood banking.

  5. What can cord blood be used for?

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    Imagine this. Your toddler has been diagnosed with leukaemia. They need a bone marrow transplant, but there isn’t a matching adult donor. They may die. Thankfully life-saving umbilical cord blood from stem cells, donated by an anonymous mum and her newborn baby, save your little one’s life. 

    It’s a true story. 

    If you’ve ever asked the question what is cord blood used for, should we keep cord blood, or who needs cord blood, this article reveals everything you need to know. As it turns out, stem cells are  extraordinary. They’re used in a wide variety of healthcare settings to heal people of every age and improve people’s quality of life, and one of the best sources of these powerful cells is the umbilical cord.  

    Is cord blood banking worth it?

    Should we keep cord blood? In our experience the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Cord blood banking is always worth it, an investment in the future health and wellbeing of your child, their siblings, yourself and your partner.  

    Cord blood is simply blood from your baby. It stays in the umbilical cord and placenta after you give birth, and it’s easy to collect, painless and harmless for you and your baby. Umbilical cord blood banks like ours store it, cryogenically frozen, until someone who’s a genetic match needs a transplant.

    Blood from umbilical cords contains ‘progenitor’ stem cells. They’re used for life-saving transplants in people with leukaemia, serious blood disorders and much more. Sadly, much of the time, umbilical cord blood is discarded at birth. But you can choose to collect and freeze yours for the future, and more of us are doing exactly that every year. 

    How is cord blood used for your baby?

    So what is cord blood used for? It’s used in many proven treatments and is also very useful in regenerative medicine. 

    Stem cells from cord blood can treat immune system disorders and genetic disorders, neurologic disorders, and some kinds of cancer, for example leukaemia and lymphoma. They’ve been used to treat various metabolic diseases and to treat sickle-cell anaemia. They’re helpful in treating diseases of the blood, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Scientists suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

    Basically, stem cells from the cord blood of a genetically matching donor ‘regenerate’ the blood and immune system. That’s why, for a host of disorders, these cells are a potential gold mine for treatment and cure. The fluid is easy to collect. It contains ten times more stem cells than bone marrow. And cord blood stem cells are famously free from infectious diseases, around 50% less likely to be rejected by the patient’s immune system than stem cells taken from adults. 

    How is cord blood used in transplant medicine?

    Cord blood contains ‘hematopoietic’ stem cells, immature cells with the ability to develop into every type of blood cell, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These hematopoietic cells are the same kind used for bone marrow transplants and, so far, are thought to be able to treat more than 80 types of disease. 

    Who needs cord blood? All of us! 

    Who needs cord blood? We all do. Research into the benefits of cord blood banking is ongoing, and the results are exciting. There are high hopes around more ways to use these clever cells in future, including research into stem cell treatment for Alzheimer’s, heart failure, even serious spinal cord damage. Will you choose to have a cord blood collection after giving birth?  

    Speak to our team about banking your baby’s cord blood – download our brochure or call our sales team on 01752 753723.

    Disclaimer

    No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

    Sources 

    stem cell preservation

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

  6. Why banking your baby’s precious cord blood matters

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    World Cord Blood Day was celebrated around the world on November 15, and every year, July is designated World Cord Blood month, but still very few people in the UK know about umbilical cord blood banking

    Kate Sneddon, CEO of Plymouth-based Biovault Family, the only private laboratory in the UK that works for the NHS to process and store cord blood and tissue explains what it is and why.

    Very few people know that when parents give birth, they have the option to collect the cord blood left in the placenta, and the new born baby’s cord.  These tissues are rich in potentially life saving stem cells which have the ability to treat over 80 conditions,  and have the advantage over other sources of cells that they have not been damaged by the environment or ageing process, and do not require to be so closely matched to the patient.  

    We are also very excited about this service being expanded to treat autoimmune conditions, the most notable being multiple sclerosis (MS).

    At birth parents have the option to discard these tissues and cells as medical waste, donate to a public bank or privately bank for their families use should they become ill in later life.

    Since our creation in 2002, Plymouth-based Biovault has been at the forefront of the rapidly developing field of human cell and tissue processing and cryogenic storage.  Demand for services has grown, both here in the UK and Internationally, as doctors and scientists find more innovative and life-changing applications for human cells and tissue.  

    Biovault is the South-West Peninsula Transplantation Service’s tissue establishment, and we work in partnership with local NHS hospitals as they perform stem cell transplants for patients.

    Biovault provides the processing facilities and stores the patients’ or matched donors stem cells at cryogenic temperatures, -196°C, until they are ready to receive the cells. 

    Whilst many patients treated by the transplantation service wouldn’t have had the chance to store their stem cells at birth a relatively new area of medicine is developing using stem cells from the umbilical cord.  An increasing number of families are choosing to bank for their own use, known as private banking and Biovault Family offers this service in the UK.  

    Despite being available for nearly 20 years in the UK, the number of parents choosing this option is relatively low when compared to other countries across the world. This is primarily down to awareness, simply parents do not know they have the option as it is not routinely discussed during pregnancy.  This coupled with the fact that donation to public banks is through a limited number of hospitals only, means these precious cells often end up in the incinerator.  

    There has also been considerable challenge with collection of the cord.  The Royal College of Midwives does not currently support private banking unless there is a medically indicated reason (although they are reviewing their position).  As a result, hospitals and midwifery teams have not put in place the systems and resources to facilitate the collection, resulting in the use of external personnel to attend the birth to make the collection. The recent move to delayed cord clamping as standard within the NHS can mean medical professionals and parents think collection of the cord and blood is not possible, and again it is dismissed without proper consideration.  

    However, we see that making the decision to store our children’s umbilical stem cells is an act of bravery.  It means admitting the possibility of someone we love becoming seriously ill and deciding to take control of fear by putting in place this incredible biological protection.  

    At Biovault we are not content with simply offering the existing service, we understand that parents rightly want to give their child the best start in life by delaying cord clamping, but realise they also want to protect them for the future.  Because of this we embarked upon a research programme, in partnership with University College London to look at how we can “replicate” stem cells using cords donated specifically for research. With the hope of providing a process to expand their number using pioneering technology.  This may allow not only the child to have protection, but other members of the family too.  

    The field of stem cells, cellular therapies and regenerative medicine has developed rapidly over the last 30 years, but we are now on the cusp of new possibilities for the use of these precious cells.  There are 80 standard approved therapies using cord blood stem cells including Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Anaemias (including Fanconi Anaemia, Sickle cell disease and Beta Thalassaemia), inherited disorders of the immune system, inherited metabolic disorders and solid tumours such as Neuroblastoma and Retinoblastoma.  Clinical trials are ongoing looking at the use of the cells for Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke and Parkinson’s disease, Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Multiple sclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and many more.

    Working in the medical field requires that we work to the highest quality standards.  However, we go above and beyond the mandatory UK Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licence and have sought out two of the most exacting international accreditation: Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy Joint Accreditation Committee for ISCT and EBMT (FACT-JACIE) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).  

    We are truly proud to hold these accreditations which ensure we maintain our unique place as the leading private cell and tissue banking facility in the UK, and Biovault is the only private entity to have gained the FACT-JACIE accreditation. 

    In addition to quality we are very proud of our ethics, as scientists and parents we care for every person and every cell in our care and put the wellbeing of people before profit.  

    Interested? Download our brochure today – it’s got all you need to know about cord blood banking.

    stem cell preservation

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

  7. November 15th is World Cord Blood Day

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    The clocks are counting down to World Cord Blood Day 2021, an exciting event made up of an Online Virtual Conference supported by a host of inspiring live events across the globe. It’s open to the public and is recommended for parents as well as healthcare professionals. The strapline says it all: “Even just one conversation could save a life”. So what is World Cord Blood Day all about? Why do we believe it’s such an important event for anyone who’s trying for a baby? Read on to find out…   

    Why do we celebrate World Cord Blood Month? 

    July 2021 marked Cord Blood Awareness Month, a full four weeks of exposure revealing the many thrilling medical advances around umbilical cord blood. 

    Cord blood deserves an awareness month simply because the banking of cord blood isn’t mainstream, despite its medical advantages. Every parent deserves to know exactly how umbilical cord blood can help secure the future health of their children. Every mum and dad appreciates the many benefits of collecting and storing their new born child’s cord blood. 

    We celebrate World Cord Blood Day for the same reasons and this year the event takes place on 15th November.  

    What is Cord Blood Day?

    Cord Blood Day is a worldwide event rich in vital information. You can find an event near you, ask the experts questions after the conference, join in with the Global Virtual Conference taking place on the big day, and enjoy a collection of interactive games and videos

    What is cord blood used for?

    Cord blood stem cells have been used to treats more than 80 diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia. Cord blood stem cells research is also expanding into regenerative medicine. Studies suggest there may be applications for spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, autism, type 1 diabetes and more. This is why we encourage parents to consider collecting and storing cord blood from their new born babies. 

    It’s a simple and easy process, something your birth partner and / or midwife can help you with. Once the cells are stored we can keep them for as long as 50 years. There for your child as they grow and age. You might just be saving your children’s good health for many years to come.  

    World Cord Blood Day was born from a strong need to improve cord blood education. Back in 1998 a cord blood stem cell transplant was carried out by Dr Eliane Gluckman in France. It saved a young boy who was fighting Fanconi Anemia. This inspired doctors around the globe to explore the possibilities of cord blood. So far there have been more than 40,000 cord blood transplants worldwide.  

    Despite all this more than 98% of births around the world still involve throwing cord blood away as medical waste. Parents deserve unbiased information about cord blood so that they can make the best choices, and that’s why World Cord Blood Day is so important. 

    Is cord blood good for the baby?

    In a word, yes. Cord blood is simply the blood left over in the umbilical cord and placenta after giving birth. It’s a powerful, non-controversial source of stem cells because it doesn’t involve taking cells from an embryo. The blood is collected after the birth quickly and easily. The collection process comes with no risk to the baby or mother. It has no impact on the process of giving birth, either. 

    Is cord blood better than bone marrow?

    Cord blood is a lot easier to collect, store and access quickly than bone marrow. Using one unit of umbilical cord blood for a stem cell transplant comes with significantly less risk of Graft versus Host Disease. This is always a risk for transplant patients. There seems to be less risk of a relapse for some diseases when cord blood is used. It’s easy to ship, and the stem cells can be made available for use by medical professionals to help your child within days.

    If you’d like to explore the potential for the banking of cord blood, we’re always happy to help with answers to your questions. Alternatively you can order your kit now, download a brochure, or schedule a friendly call with one of our expert team members. 

    Sources:

    stem cell preservation

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

  8. How do we collect your baby’s stem cells at birth?

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    Are you thinking about banking your new born baby’s umbilical cord blood? Let’s take a look at how stem cells are harvested from cord blood. This is your umbilical cord blood storage guide. 

    How are stem cells collected at birth?

    Cord blood stem cells are collected at birth. While it only takes a few minutes and is a very simple thing to do, the benefits could last for a lifetime. Everything you need to collect your umbilical cord blood is included in our convenient Collection Kit. This includes all the instructions you’ll need to share with your birthing partner as well as the healthcare professional who will actually collect the samples. So, your first task is to order your kit so it’s ready and waiting when you give birth. 

    The cord blood collection process is so easy it lets you focus on the important thing – actually giving birth! Once your midwife is happy with the health of you and your new baby they’ll collect the relevant cord blood and cord tissue, something that can be done either before or after the placenta is delivered and the umbilical cord clamped and cut. You don’t need to do anything differently. You don’t have to clamp the cord any earlier than usual and your partner can still cut the cord if they want to. It’s just like an ordinary birth.  

    The cord blood is removed from the mother’s umbilical cord and the placenta soon after the baby is born. The person nominated to carry out the collection takes 3-5 ounces of blood from the cord and placenta, which contains about a teaspoon of stem cells. The collection process doesn’t cause any harm whatsoever to the mum or the baby. 

    Is it painful to have stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood?

    In a word, no – you won’t feel a thing, nor will your beautiful new baby. 

    What happens to the umbilical cord blood once it has been harvested?

    All you do is follow the simple instructions in your collection kit. The phlebotomist will take the samples and make them ready for transport to our lab. Once they’ve arrived the samples are taken to a sterile environment and given a unique barcode before being carefully processed. We’ll test the samples for microbiological contamination and make sure the stem cell concentration is high enough. Then they’re stored in tamper-proof evidence bags in a vat of super-sold vapour phase liquid nitrogen, where they can safely remain for either 25 or 50 years – it’s your choice. We’ll send you a Storage Certificate to keep, for your records, and we’ll only take the cells out of storage if your child needs them for treatment. 

    Let’s explore collecting a baby’s stem cells  

    If you’d like to take the first step you can order your kit now, download a brochure, or schedule a friendly call with a member of our expert team.  

    Sources:

  9. Midwives are truly remarkable

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    It’s something that is really important to me because it allows me to do so many things and reach so many people and to help people. I want people to know me as and remember me as a person that helped others, a person who loved others.”

    (https://www.nurses.co.uk/nursing/blog/the-5-things-i-love-most-about-working-in-midwifery/)

    Isn’t that lovely? The philosopher Plato agreed. As he said,

     “The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a midwife to the awakening of the soul in another person.” 

    (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/735649?ref=midwife)

    As you can tell from the quotes above, midwifery is special, just like the people who become midwives. It’s such a joyful career and so varied. A midwife helps people every day. As a midwife you’re a skilled educator, sure. But you also help women understand their bodies and pregnancies better. Through doing so, they feel safer, more confident. This all helps to make childbirth memorable.

    What makes a midwife’s job so special?

    In midwifery, the learning goes both ways. A midwife learns valuable lessons from every woman they take care of. After all, pregnancy is different and every birth is unique. You become part of the family, getting to know the parents, the kids and even their pets. You play a part in bringing a precious new life safely into the world, and by doing so you see the people you care for learn and grow. In a word, it’s a beautiful career.

    Not just mums – midwives see everyone fall in love with their new baby

    You see the love in the dad’s eyes as the child is born and you encounter so many different couples, from traditional to same-sex couples, older to younger, from every country and every walk of life. And you get to help brand new humans emerge into the world safely every day. What could be more magical than that?

    At the same time, as a midwife, you gather an enormous store of expertise, insight and experience, a constant learning curve that keeps your role interesting. It’s about empowering women too, inspiring awe in women’s bodies, helping them understand that they’re amazing.

    As the midwife Barbara Katz Rothman says, “It’s not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth.” (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/823168?ref=midwife) So what is a midwife’s role in the collection of your baby’s cord blood?

    Does the midwife collect cord for cord blood banking?

    In all cultures, the midwife’s place is on the threshold of life, where intense human emotions, fear, hope, longing, triumph, and incredible physical power-enable a new human being to emerge. Her vocation is unique.” 

    Sheila Kitzinger (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/735649?ref=midwife)

    Your midwife is with you all the way, supporting you throughout the process of giving birth, there to reassure you, inform you, calm you, and make you feel like the hero you are. They don’t actually collect your baby’s cord blood but they’ll be there for you when it happens. So how do you collect cord blood? An experienced phlebotomist collects the cord blood, and they’ll do it quickly and expertly.

    A phlebotomist is specially trained to collect blood samples from patients, often to be examined in a laboratory for the quick diagnosis of all sorts of diseases and conditions. When taking blood they know exactly how to keep the patient safe and happy without disturbing the great job your midwife is doing.

    But what is the role of the midwife during cord blood collection?

    You can have your cord blood collected via a home birth or at hospital. Either way your midwife can easily follow the instructions provided by us when you decide to save cord blood with a specialist bank.

    You’ll want to request your cord blood collection kit during your second or third trimester, at least four weeks before your due date. The kit comes complete with all the equipment needed plus step-by-step directions for clamping the umbilical cord, collecting the cord blood itself, and packing it safely at room temperature for delivery to our laboratory.

    How is cord blood collected?

    What is the cord blood collection procedure? Collecting your baby’s cord blood and tissue only takes a few minutes, and we’ve made it as simple as we can. Your umbilical cord blood Collection Kit contains everything you need, including instructions to share with your birthing partner, the midwife, and the phlebotomist who will collect your cord blood, cord tissue and a sample of your own blood.

    Keep the Collection Kit and instructions with your hospital bag so it’s ready when you are. As soon as you go into labour, contact your phlebotomist and keep them informed about your progress.

    Your midwife plays a crucial role here. Unless they’re totally happy that all’s well with you and your newborn child, they won’t authorise the collection. It’s a very simple process that can be carried out either before or after your placenta has been delivered and the umbilical cord clamped and cut. You don’t need to clamp the cord early, and your partner can still cut the cord, often an important part of the ceremony of birth.

    The phlebotomist will collect and label the samples ready for transport to our laboratory in a special pre-paid thermally insulated package. Once your baby’s cord blood has been collected someone should contact us so we can arrange a courier.

    Once we get them, we transfer your samples to a sterile environment and give them their own unique barcode before processing them, testing for microbiological contamination, and checking the concentration of the stem cells. When our scientists are happy with everything the samples are stored in tamper-evident bags in vapour phase liquid nitrogen.

    The stem cells are only extracted if and when there’s a medical reason, and you can choose to store tissue and cord blood for either 25 or 50 years, giving your child decades of potential protection just in case something goes wrong.

    What should your midwife know about your cord blood birth plan?

    Speak tenderly; let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.”

    Mother Teresa (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/823168?ref=midwife)

    Every good midwife will be thrilled to be involved in such an exciting process. Here’s a diagram revealing the collection process steps your midwife will need to understand.

    stem cell preservation

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.