As an expectant parent, you want to do everything you can to give your child the best start in life. One way to do that is by collecting and storing your baby’s stem cells. Stem cells are the building blocks of the human body, and they have the ability to repair and replace damaged tissue. They are a valuable resource that could one day be used to treat your child for a number of conditions should the need ever arise, including cancer, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis to name a few.

Here are five tips for expectant parents who are preparing to collect and store their baby’s stem cells:

1. Talk to your Doctor: The first step is to have a conversation with your doctor or healthcare professional about this process. They can answer any questions you may have about the process and help you weigh up the pros and cons. It’s also a good idea to do your own research, there’s a lot of information you can find online but if there’s something you can’t find an answer to we are always happy to help!

2. Choose a reputable company: There are many companies that offer stem cell collection and storage services. Do your research to ensure that you are choosing a reputable company with experience. Here’s a little bit about us:

Incorporated in July 2000, Smart Cells was the first cord blood stem cell storage company in the UK. Smart Cells were also the first UK private company to have successfully released stored cord blood units to transplant centres worldwide, to treat children with a range of illnesses. Smart Cells are now part of the FamiCord Group, Europe’s largest stem cell bank. Smart Cells uses internationally recognised and proven technologies to ensure a high quality world class service. Smart Cells have released more stem cells units for transplant use than any other private cord blood bank in the UK.

Smart Cells work with phlebotomy companies (blood collection specialists) who operate on a 24/7 basis. This service has dedicated staff, emergency telephone numbers and call out personnel which save new parents the inconvenience of having to find, book and manage this service for themselves.

It’s vital that you choose a company who will keep your little one’s precious stem cells safe and sound so it really is important to do your research!

3. Research the options: There are a few different ways to collect and store stem cells. Once you’ve talked to your doctor, do some research to see what options are available and which one would be the best fit for your family. You have the option to store cord blood only, cord tissue only or both cord blood and tissue together. Paired with your own research and conversations with your healthcare provider you will probably have a good idea of which option is best for you and your family. Still unsure? No worries, you can contact us either via email, contact form or phone to find out more.

4. Enquire about the storage facility’s disaster recovery plan: In the event of a natural disaster or power outage, you’ll want to know that your baby’s stem cells will be protected. We have partner labs in Europe & South Africa, as well as a disaster recovery unit with a UK PLC in the rare event of the company going bankrupt.

Our UK laboratory is situated 3 miles from Heathrow Airport so that all international samples arrive into our processing laboratory as quickly as possible. Smart Cells have collected samples from over 70 countries and have offices in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Far East.

5. Consider the cost: Stem cell collection and storage can be expensive. Make sure to factor in the cost when making your decision. Now part of the FamiCord Group, we are able to offer stem cell collection and storage at an incredibly competitive price, we have just launched our affordable packages so be sure to check them out!

Collecting and storing your baby’s stem cells is a personal decision that every expectant parent has to make for themselves. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before making a decision. Hopefully, these tips will help you as you prepare for this exciting time in your life!