What no Stem Cells this year? This may sound a little strange to you today, but more and more boomer grandparents and Generation Y parents are considering this to be the ultimate gift of "future health".

Umbilical cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord immediately following the birth of a child. Umbilical cord blood is rich in "stem cells". When the umbilical cord blood cells are transplanted into patients, they can help restore the immune and blood systems to help fight diseases and replace diseased blood. Collecting your child’s umbilical cord blood and saving it in a private cord blood bank provides you with an important option in case your child develops any of the illnesses where cord blood is used in treatment.

Expecting parents should compare cord blood banking costs and quality at several cord blood banks to determine the best cord blood bank for their family. Check carefully to ensure that there are no hidden "annual storage fees".

And now there are also Cord Blood After-Christmas Coupons, which you can take advantage of for yourself or as a gift. Ask banks what they are offering during this time of the year.

For those of you who are now asking, "Does it really work?" "Is it worth it?" this is something everyone has to decide for themselves. However in some cases it can be a real advantage.

Consider Baby John, who was suffering from cerebral palsy symptoms caused by a pediatric stroke. John received an umbilical stem cell transplant, from the cord blood that his parents banked when he was born. The cord blood transfusion proved to be a success and Baby John has since shown major signs of improvement. In this case, the stem cell transplant improved his cerebral palsy symptoms.