This is often done because cord blood contains stem cells which could potentially be used to treat certain illnesses.
These is much to learn about this topic if you are strongly considering this option.
We will only cover it briefly here.
Remember to spend some time researching this subject before making this decision.
The stem cells from cord blood can be used to treat a number of inherited disorders and illnesses including leukemia.
Although cord blood is currently mostly used to treat blood cancers and genetic blood diseases, physicians and researchers continue to evaluate the use of stem cells for other malidies.
The blood is collected after birth, by syringing out the placenta through the umbilical cord after it has been detached from the newborn.
Another option to consider, is to collect stem cells from the tissue of the umbilical cord, also known as Wharton's jelly.
While cord blood stem cells differentiate to form a variety of blood cells, cord tissue stem cells differentiate to build bone, cartilage and connective tissue, potentially providing treament material for a whole host of other illnesses.
Storage of both cord blood and cord tissue stem cells, could potentially provide a family other treatment options for a varitey of illnesses, sometime in the future.
Cord blood banking is a relatively new field, whose regulation varies from state to state.
If you choose to take this option, make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
Certain states require accreditation, including New York, New Jersey and California, so check to see if the firm is accredited if you live in one of these areas.