Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord connects a developing fetus to the placenta. The
is an organ within a pregnant woman’s womb. It provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby, and removes waste products from the baby’s blood. The cord contains blood vessels that help carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the baby, and take blood with waste away from the baby.
The blood that flows through the placenta and umbilical cord has a high concentration of stem cells. Stem cells develop to become mature blood cells including:
Stem cells are an important treatment for many diseases, including cancer, blood disorders, and genetic and metabolic diseases. For many patients, umbilical cord stem cells are life-saving.
Usually, the umbilical cord and placenta are discarded after birth. If a mother chooses to have her cord blood collected, the health care team will do so after the baby is born. With a sterile needle, they’ll draw the blood from the umbilical vessels into a collection bag. The blood is packaged and sent to a cord blood bank for long-term storage.
The two types of banks that store cord blood are:
If you’re thinking about banking your newborn’s cord blood, talk about your options with your health care provider. Your provider can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public and private cord blood banking.
Other resources that can help you decide:
Many doctors and researchers support saving umbilical cord blood. Most of us would have little use for stem cells now, but research into using them to treat diseases is ongoing — and the future looks promising.
If you want to donate your child’s umbilical cord blood, talk to your health care provider or contact the hospital or birthing center where your baby will be born. It’s best to start the process early in your pregnancy so you have time to explore and understand your options.
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is an immune deficiency that can be successfully treated if it’s found early.
Where you choose to give birth is an important decision. Is a hospital or a birth center right for you? Knowing the facts can help you make your decision.
If you’re a first-time parent, put your fears aside and get the basics in this guide about burping, bathing, bonding, and other baby-care concerns.
Here are the basics about the life-sustaining fluid called blood.
Genetic counselors work with people who are either planning to have a baby or are pregnant to determine whether they carry the genes for certain inherited disorders. Find out more.
Advances in genetic testing help doctors diagnose and treat certain illnesses. The type of test done depends on which condition a doctor checks for.
Learning about the female reproductive system, what it does, and the problems that can affect it can help you better understand your daughter’s reproductive health.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.