Baby's Umbilical Cord Frozen

A couple from Northwich in Cheshire, believed to be the first in the UK, have decided to take out their own insurance policy on the welfare and health of their family by having their baby's umbilical cord frozen.

Thirty four year old Paula Aspinall and her husband Peter are the proud parents of their daughter, three year old Megan and baby son, Daniel who was born in Northwich at the Private Birth Centre where Paula is employed as an office manager.

Paula feels that their actions could, if needed at some point in the future, save her children's lives as well as the possibly of being a life line for her and her husband.  The cord's cells would need to be used if any one of the family became gravely ill.  It cost the couple two thousand pounds for the procedure to happen and the stem cells will be stored for the next twenty years in Future Health Technologies Ltd, a cryogenic facility located in Nottingham.

Mrs Aspinall is extremely keen that more mothers-to-be are provided with as much information as possible on this procedure, especially as the valuable cord is just discarded after a baby is born.  It may be something that never gets used but for some families it has the potential to save future generations.

Life Saving?

There is always controversy about any type of procedure such as the removal of stem cells.  There are many people who believe that the removal of these cells could actually cause an illness which might not have emerged otherwise.

A representative from Manchester University's School of Clinical and Laboratory Studies stated that the idea of stem cell collection is no longer considered fantasy.  Professor Judith Hoyland, the Research Group Leader for Tissue Injury and Repair also commented that the future of regenerative medicine looks extremely promising.

The cord blood is taken immediately following the birth of a child from the umbilical cord and is frozen ready for storage.  The cells are believed to help with such diseases as leukaemia when a bone marrow transplant is needed

Experts feel that on top of the eighty five known medical conditions that cord stem cells can already remedy, there is far more potential than they are aware of but these conditions could come to light in the future.

I think that if most families were offered this potentially live saving treatment they would snap it up.  Everyone wants the best for their children and if they could prove that it is not harmful to the baby then the cryogenic clinics would certainly become busier!