The collection of stem cells, which are found in the umbilical cord, is a relatively new private service. Stem cells develop into many different types of cell in the body and can be used to treat diseases such as leukemia by replacing diseased cells (see Stem cell collection). Stem cells are collected from the umbilical cord immediately after birth and sent to a laboratory where they are frozen and stored, acting as health insurance for the baby in future life. If you want to have this done, you must make arrangements with a private company and check that the hospital has procedures to allow the collection to be done.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
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