Considering Cord Blood Banking: Is it for you?

If you’re expecting then you have probably heard about cord blood banking. You see the ads everywhere in doctor’s offices and magazines. You may even know someone who has done it before. What is it exactly and is it for you? Here is some helpful information if you are considering cord blood banking as an option.

 

We made the decision to bank our child’s cord blood stem cells after hearing about it and doing some research. The umbilical cord that feeds your baby nutrients while in the womb is packed with stem cells. These stem cells have been found to successfully treat certain diseases including childhood cancers, immunodeficiency disorders, and severe sickle cell diseases among many others. The cord blood can be used for the child it was obtained from or for a relative that is in need.

Choosing a Cord Blood Bank

If you’re familiar with cord blood banking then you’ve likely heard of Cord Blood Registry or ViaCord. These are two of the biggest companies known. There are many different banks available to choose from for storing and preserving your baby’s cord blood stem cells. A private bank will provide all of the information detailing their process and supply you with the necessary equipment you’ll need to bring to the hospital for collection. The doctor collects the blood after baby is born and stores it in the required storage system that the bank provides.

Cord blood banking is a costly expense. Most people who choose to do this, like us, do so because of a family history of certain disorders that can be treated with stem cells. In the event that your child or a close family member develops a disorder that is treatable, the cord blood can be used for them (if they are a match).

Cord blood banks usually do offer financing options to help you cover the costs associated with the process and storage of the stem cells. I’ve also seen drawings and contests available where you can win a chance to receive cord blood banking. It’s definitely worth looking into, but you should research carefully to compare pricing and make sure the bank you choose meets FDA standards. If you are considering cord blood banking do so early on in your pregnancy so that you have a bank chosen by your second trimester.

You can find a bank from the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation with recommendations and what you should look for in a reputable bank. You should also ask your physician if they have performed the procedure before and if they have any recommendations they can provide for you to consider. Be sure to inform your physician about your decision to bank your baby’s cord blood as well as the hospital staff when you go into labor or for delivery.

If considering cord blood banking is not an option for you, the American Academy of Pediatrics  highly recommends that you donate it. Public cord blood banks collect the cord blood stem cells that are donated and use it for further research as well as to potentially save another child’s life who is in need. You can find out if the hospital where you plan to deliver works with a public blood bank. You can also find one listed through the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation that has a mail-in donation program.

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