Many Western New Yorkers know about Unyts’ role in organ, eye, tissue and blood donation, but few are aware of an avenue of donation that offers a unique opportunity for a very special group of people – new moms. The Birth Tissue Donation Program at Unyts allows women who are delivering by cesarean section to donate their birth tissue- the placenta, a portion of the umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid- to help in healing for many patients in need.
The placenta is an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby, while removing waste products from the baby’s blood. A donation from one mother could potentially impact anywhere from 50-100 people. Products and grafts derived from birth tissue are powerful; not only do they have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, but they also suppress pain, expedite recovery and reduce scar tissue. They are often used for burn victims and skin grafts, and they enhance the body’s own cellular healing mechanisms.
“At one of my prenatal doctor appointments I was handed a pamphlet for Unyts’ Birth Tissue Donation program,” said Ashley Bushen, birth tissue mom. “My doctor explained that the tissue of the placenta had great healing qualities and was used after various types of surgeries to help heal wounds. The only question I had was, what happens to my placenta if I don’t donate it? They throw it in the garbage! Right then and there I decided that I would donate. I couldn’t help but think I would be wasting something if I didn’t.”
The process is safe, simple, painless, free and rewarding. Birth tissue is a priceless gift that can help patients in ways no other materials can. Unyts currently recovers birth tissue at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital and Sister’s Hospital of Buffalo. To learn more about becoming a Birth Tissue mom please visit www.unyts.org and click on Get Involved.