Discussing Cord Blood & Cord Tissue with CBR & A Bonus Giveaway (2 winners) - CLOSED

Before Ethan was born, I spent a lot of time researching...everything. We can thank my being on bedrest for the fact that every avenue was completely and thoroughly (and maybe even obsessively) researched to the point of exhaustion. I've always been fascinated by stem cell research and the developments in the specific area of cord blood and cord tissue research. I knew immediately that I wanted to bank Ethan's cord blood, an option that my OB and I agreed was beneficial and worth doing for our family. I spoke with several different cord blood companies before deciding that CBR would be the registry we would bank with. From their helpful customer service representatives to the sheer knowledge each of their employees possessed, it was easy to see why they were the world leader in cord blood banking. In the end, we decided to bank both Ethan's cord blood and cord tissue. CBR sent us a neatly packaged collection kit and the entire process went swimmingly. The courier came -- yes, in the middle of the night -- to collect our kit and that was all. It was an easy process with tremendous benefits and one we're quite happy with choosing.

I know that cord blood banking is a sensitive and oftentimes controversial subject on the internet. It isn't my intention to create controversy in the slightest. Every parent must decide what is best for their own family. However, I also know it is a topic that isn't discussed as much as it could be. So many mommies-to-be, not unlike I once was, are left clicking around online trying to find something -- anything! -- with information to help them make the decision to bank or donate their baby's cord blood (or cord tissue).

I had the chance to interview Kathy Engle, the director of corporate communications at CBR. Not only was she great about answering some of my questions that will hopefully provide answers for other moms-to-be out there, but she offered to host a special giveaway here at You Are The Roots as well.

You Are The Roots: How is cord blood stored? If cord blood is needed, how do you retrieve it?
CBR: At CBR, cord blood is frozen in specially manufactured containers, suspended in liquid nitrogen. At the request of a treating physician or the parents, the sample is tracked back to it’s unique code and pulled from the storage container. A small portion of the sample stored, called an aliquot, is tested and blood typed to verify the identity of the sample. In addition, a specific kind of matching test called HLA-typing, is performed on the cord blood unit, that also verifies the sample for use by the owner or is also done to test if it is a match for a sibling to use.

YATR: What are some conditions that cord blood is able to help treat?
CBR: Cord blood has been used for the last two decades in transplant medicine to treat some cancers, blood and immune disorders and metabolic disorders. A sample list can be found on cordblood.com.

YATR: If I save my child's cord blood and a sibling is diagnosed with a disease that cord blood can help treat, can my other child's cord blood be used for treatment?
CBR: For inherited genetic conditions, the child will not be able to use his or her own stem cells. In these cases a matched sibling's stem cells would be the first choice for most transplant physicians. For any of the research underway in regenerative medicine, looking at stem cells as a potential treatment for conditions like cerebral palsy, brain injury, type one diabetes or hearing loss, a sample of the child’s own stem cells are required. In other words, if one child has cerebral palsy, but you only stored for a sibling, at this time the child with cerebral palsy would not be eligible for any of the FDA-regulated clinical trials.

YATR: How is cord blood used in treating diseases or illnesses?
CBR: There are two different kinds of medicine where cord blood has been used as a treatment. In transplant medicine (for certain types of cancer, or blood diseases like sickle cell anemia), stem cells from the cord blood or bone marrow are used as a last resort therapy. The children undergo chemotherapy and other medical treatments which ablate (or destroy) the child’s blood and immune system, and the stem cells are introduced to regenerate a new, healthy blood and immune system. For a field called regenerative medicine, when a patient uses his/her own stem cells, they are introduced as a simple infusion in the hopes that the stem cells will stimulate the body’s own immune system to repair or help heal the injury.

YATR: What are some conditions that medical researchers are using cord blood to try to find a treatment for?
CBR: This is a new area called regenerative medicine. There are FDA-regulated trials looking at the use of a child’s own stem cells as a possible therapy for certain conditions like cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, type 1 diabetes and hearing loss. In these cases, the patient’s own stem cells are introduced as an infusion in the hopes that the stem cells will stimulate the body’s own immune response system to repair or help heal the injury. In fact a very special aspect for three of these clinical trials is that CBR has been built into the screening protocol to ensure for consistency in the collection, processing and release of the stem cells. So, only CBR clients are eligible to participate. As a company we are proud to be the world’s largest and most experienced stem cell bank and now we offer clients exclusive access to trials that we hope will help to advance the science for stem cell treatments.

YATR: If I bank my baby's cord blood today, is it able to be used to treat conditions one day in the future that currently have no cure?
CBR: This is the hope, and where researchers in regenerative medicine are focusing—injuries or diseases that currently have no cure. This potential future is also why CBR feels it is so important for expectant parents to become educated on their cord blood banking options. Bank it or donate it, just don’t throw it away.

YATR: What is the difference between banking cord tissue and cord blood? Is it beneficial to bank both and why or why not?
CBR: Banking cord blood preserves hematopoetic stem cell, cells that create the blood and immune system. A different kind of stem cells are found in the cord tissue called mesenchymal (MSC’s). MSC’s are the building blocks for bone, cartilage and tendons. Banking either of these sources of stem cells is, of course, a personal choice. The research in both fields is advancing rapidly and so it is important for expectant parents to learn the value of these sources for newborn stem cells before the baby is born because there is only one chance to preserve them at birth.

YATR: What happens to cord blood or cord tissue if you choose not to bank it?
CBR: Ninety-five percent of the time, these valuable resources are simply discarded as medical waste. Resources like this blog, social media sites as well as doctors and hospital education programs are important forums for expectant parents to weigh the pros and cons of cord blood and cord tissue banking.

YATR: Are there payment plans available if I cannot afford to pay up front for my baby's cord blood banking?
CBR: Yes. CBR has a number of different payment plans to help make cord blood banking fit every family’s budget. We were also first in the industry to have a gift registry program—just like registering for wedding or baby shower gifts, expectant parents can open a cord blood banking gift registry to allow friends and family to help contribute to banking as a gift.

YATR: How do you collect cord tissue or cord blood cells? Is it dangerous to the baby to do so?
CBR: Collecting cord blood and cord tissue is completely safe and painless for baby and mom. Shortly after the delivery, the cord is swabbed and blood is drawn from the umbilical cord into CBR’s proprietary, sterile collection kit. If cord tissue is also being saved, a 4-8 inch section of the cord is simply cut and placed into a collection cup.

YATR: If I want to donate my baby's cord blood, am I able to donate cord tissue too?
CBR: At this time it is only possible to donate cord blood at hospitals that are affiliated with public cord blood bank. To learn if there is a public bank available in a specific area, readers can look at the National Marrow Donor Program web site at www.nmdp.org.

For more information on CBR or to learn more about banking or donating your baby's cord blood or cord tissue, visit CBR on the web at www.cordblood.com.

CBR have graciously offered two copies of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy And Birth: Tips That 60 Doctors Who Are Also Mothers Use During Their Own Pregnancies & Births to be given to two readers as a giveaway. These fantastic and comprehensive guides to pregnancy cover everything from cord blood banking to food aversions to constipation (hey, it's a part of pregnancy!) to learning how to communicate your wishes during labor and more. This fantastic 500+ page book is packed with more than 900 tips from doctors (and moms!) who have been there, done that and can help ease your stress a bit. (Yes, there's a chapter about easing stress, too!)

MANDATORY ENTRY: Make sure your e-mail address is visible or included in your comment!
  • You MUST be a follower of You Are The Roots on GFC (Google Friend Connect) to be eligible for entry!
  • Comment and let me know the best tip anyone ever gave you about pregnancy, birth or motherhood!
BONUS ENTRIES: *Mandatory entry must be completed for these to count!
  • Like You Are The Roots on Facebook and leave me a comment with your name (first name, last initial) or URL so this can be verified!
  • Like CBR on Facebook and leave me a comment with your name (first name, last initial) or URL so this can be verified!
  • Leave CBR a message on their wall letting them know you've entered the giveaway at You Are The Roots. Leave me a comment with the link so this can be verified!
  • Follow CBR on Twitter and leave a comment with your username so this may be verified.
  • Tweet the following message (can be done once a day for one entry a day) and comment with the link to the tweet: #WIN Mommy MD Guide To Pregnancy And Birth from @cordbloodrgstry #giveaway 10/22 US. tinyurl.com/6kvgn25
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook (can be done once a day for one entry a day) and comment with the link!
  • Enter another one of my giveaways and leave a comment to let me know which one you've entered!
  • Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs (look to the left to see the buttons) - counts as one entry, can be once a day. Leave me a comment to let me know you've voted!
  • Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which one you've entered! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
  • 5 Entries - Blog about this giveaway. Comment (one comment for each entry, 3 total) with a link to where I can find your blog entry.
  • 5 Entries - Grab my button and comment (one comment for each entry, 2 total) with a link to where I can find it.
Giveaway ends 10/22/11 and is open to US residents. Winners will be selected at random and notified via e-mail.



  1. i follow you are the roots on fb

    best tip i ever got was drink a glass of milk for heartburn!

    xo danielle

  2. i like you on fb - danielle lieberman

  3. i like cbr on fb

    danielle lieberman

  4. i follow cbr on twitter - xoyagrldanielle

  5. I follow on GFC and the best tip I ever got was to sleep with feet propped up when pregnant to cut down swelling!!!!

  6. I am a fan of YOU ARE THE ROOTS on FB!

  7. I also entered BUTT NAKED BABY giveaway!

  8. follow you on gfc
    best tip, being a parent means you can say no

  9. i like you on fb
    diddle poyner
    diddlepoyner at gmail dot com

  10. left a message on cbr

  11. tweet!

  12. shared on fb

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  16. tweet

  17. shared on fb

  18. This was really helpful information! Thx for sharing!

  19. I follow you on GFC (Beck)

    The best tip someone told me was not to stress about the little things. I have to do my best to take care of myself and my baby, but I don't need to stress out about every little thing I did or didn't do identical to everyone else.

  20. I follow you on twitter @bkxanon

  21. tweet

  22. shared on fb

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  24. shared on fb

  25. gfc follower as vzavala8

    the best tip anyone has ever gave to me was to exercise such as walk, take a class and prepare yourself for delivery which will make it easier for you.

  26. like you on facebook
    valerie z


  27. liked cbr on facebook as valerie z


  28. grabbed button at http://theyoungcouponer.blogspot.com/b/layout-preview?token=4x0fETMBAAA.xyYbjAwn3R5d4kLbC1jJ9g.5VgKIwqxyytJ_AcVPKjFUQ&blogID=7911131251504802550


  29. grabbed button


  30. shared on fb

  31. tweet

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  35. shared on fb

  36. I am a public GFC follower!

    best advice that i ever got:
    use your OWN judgement, and dont be afraid to ASK for help!
    My son is 6, and we have a new baby on the way, he will be here Dec 9th!

    hairbows.n.more at gmail dot com

  37. gfc sarah_roxy_21
    To always ask for help

  38. I like you on fb
    sarah hinhart

  39. tweet

  40. shared on fb

  41. tweeted


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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.


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