An Olympic alpine skier has stored blood from her umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of her first baby.

Chemmy Alcott, 34, and her husband Dougie Crawford welcomed baby Locki, on January 13.

The skiing champion, who competed in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Turin, Vancouver and Sochi before retiring from the professional sport in 2014, told Hello! why she decided on the treatment.

She told the magazine: "Thinking about how Dougie and I are adrenaline junkies, the likelihood that he's one too is quite high."

The procedure involves storing blood, called cord blood, left over from the umbilical cord and placenta soon after the birth.

The blood contains live-saving stem cells which can, according to the official NHS website, be used to "treat many different cancers, immune deficiencies and genetic disorders".

The full interview is in Hello! magazine Credit: PA

She explained: "It's an insurance policy you don't ever want to use.

"I did some research into it a while ago when my leg was broken in a ski accident. I had to see a plastic surgeon who talked about how stem cells can be used to help the skin heal.

"So, I had quite a personal experience of it, knowing it might have been used to help me."

Alcott said Locki - whose full name is Lochlan Arthur MacDonald Crawford - was born at Surrey's Kingston Hospital just after it started snowing and he weighed eight pounds, three ounces.

She said: "The moment I was told I could start pushing, I could see it had started snowing outside. I got very teary and said to Dougie, 'This is it, he is coming. He is ready'."

Alcott, who first took to the slopes at 18 months, said Locki will hopefully be following in his famous parents's skiing tracks.

"Obviously Locki will be skiing because we ski all the time, but we just want him to love the sport and have the passion that we have for it as a lot of his life will be in the mountains - but it's his choice," she said.

Stem Cell Collection: What the NHS says:

  • Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which can help to cure many diseases.

  • Stem cells found in the blood restore the immune and blood producing systems.

  • It is an alternative to using bone marrow - with the advantage of being immediately available when needed.

  • Not all maternity units or midwives can facilitate private cord blood collection - if you are considering it, ask your midwife what your hospital's policy is.

  • Doctors generally only advise that the procedure is done only if your family has a medical reason to do it.

  • Collecting cord blood may not always safe or worthwhile - for example if your baby is born prematurely, if you're having twins, or if you have HIV.