When a child is born, blood from the umbilical cord or the placenta can be saved and used later to treat blood or genetic disorders. Many parents don’t know what options they have in saving that blood, however.

Representative Tishaura Jones sponsored a bill to require licensed obstetricians and gynecologists to, beginning October 1, make that information available to expecting women. It must also be posted on the Department of Health and Senior Services website.

Jones herself had cord blood saved when she had a child. She took up the bill sponsored in 2010 by Senator Jim Lembke.

Jones says parents can utilize public storage, in which case the blood may be used for any child that is a match for it. More expensive options can allow a family to reserve cord blood for their child or its siblings, and Jones says financial assistance is available for that in some cases.

She says saved cord blood is used for medical purposes and not research.