Placental storage: tribute to fashion or reasonable prudence?

Every woman knows what role the placenta plays in the period of the child’s bearing: it
provides the foetus with all necessary substances, literally ‘feeds’ it through the
umbilical cord. When the baby is born, the placenta is “born too. Until recently, the
placenta as well as the umbilical cord were considered unnecessary biological material,
that was to be disposed of. However, since the scientists had discovered that the placenta
and umbilical cord blood are the source of the largest number of stem cells, this
biological material has been collected into the special sterile containers for further
storage. More than two decades ago, when the first cryobanks appeared, the first stored
samples of the placenta, or more precisely, placental extract and stem cells, isolated from
the placenta, appeared.

What is the placenta value?

The placenta contains mesenchymal stem cells. They are called abbreviated as “MSC”.
These cells can differentiate (that is, “transform”, take on functions) into cells of various
organs and tissues. In many countries, engaged in the development of stem cell
treatments, including Ukraine, mesenchymal stem cells have been used successfully for
many years in diabetes mellitus and its vascular complications, multiple sclerosis, in the
treatment of injuries, burns, scars, bedsores, severe wounds . In addition, it is a biological
material from which the placenta extract is obtained for cosmetology use.

In Ukraine, many of those who plan to preserve cord blood after the birth of a child, do
not know that the tissue and cells of the placenta can also be preserved. But in the USA –
according to a survey, conducted by the University of Washington –

  • 65% of women consider that a stored placenta will help in the treatment of their child
    in the future,
  • 27% of mothers would not mind freezing the placenta for later use in rejuvenation,
  • 8% consider storage of the placenta cells “just in case.”

How to collect and store the placenta

The placenta collection occur afters the birth of the child. Since the women, who decided
to preserve the placenta, usually also store the umbilical cord blood of the newborn, the
obstetrician, performing a delivery, first collects the blood from the umbilical cord after
its cutting into a sterile container, specially provided by the Cryobank. Then, after the
natural rejection of the placenta, it is also collected into a sterile container. The process is
absolutely safe for the baby and mom, neither the collection of cord blood, nor the
placenta make any harm to the organism, because this biological material is no longer
needed for the intrauterine nutrition of a baby. What was previously disposed of, is now
carefully preserved.

The collected biological material, including the placenta, is delivered by the courier to
the Cryobank. Delivery must be carried out very quickly, strictly following the
temperature regime. Delivery to the Cryobank (Kiev) is possible from any Ukrainian city.
In the laboratory, all biological material undergoes rigorous control, from samples in
which no infections and viruses are detected, necessary cells (in particular, from the
placenta – mesenchymal stem cells) are isolated, which in small containers are sent for
the cryoconservation. First, they are frozen, and then stem cells and other biological
materials are stored in liquid nitrogen, in special reservoirs with a temperature of -196˚С.
Collected cells can be stored infinitely long.

Who can do this?

If a woman decides to preserve the placenta after childbirth, she needs to sign a contract
with the Cryobank before the proposed date of birth. Collection and storage of the
placenta is only part of the possible services provided by the Institute of Cell Therapy
Cryobank. Price for collection and storage of the placenta (Kiev) are transparent and
predictable. You can calculate the cost of collection and storage of the biological material
using a convenient calculator. There are no restrictions on the provision of such services:
any pregnant woman can enter into an appropriate contract. The number of expected
children affects the cost of collection and storage of the placenta and umbilical cord blood,
but does not prevent the collection of biomaterials. It does not matter what kind of
delivery is expected: natural or by Caesarean section – if the contract is signed, then the
placenta (and umbilical cord blood, as well as umbilical cord, if provided for in the contract)
will be collected. Cryobank preserves stem cells (mesenchymal and hematopoietic), placenta
extract, as well as other tissues and biological materials. As already mentioned, births can
take place in any city in Ukraine – everything will be delivered to the bank of stem cells in Kiev.

Who is recommended to store the placenta

Women often wonder if everyone needs to preserve stem cells of the placenta and cord
blood. There is no categorical answer, of course. Some families store the placenta and
umbilical cord blood, as they know that the older sibling needs serious treatment, and can
not find suitable donor stem cells. Clearly what is behind the stem cells is the future.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of the placenta are already successfully used in the
treatment of many diseases, the placenta extract is used in rejuvenation procedures. In a
few decades, the use of stem cells in medicine can become as ordinary, as now – the
treatment by conventional drugs. Saved in Cryobank, the autologous stem cells will be a
life insurance for the child. So every future mother should remember about this
opportunity. To use this opportunity or not, each family decides by themselves. But it is
better to use a chance, is not it?