My wife and I struggled with the decision whether to bank our children's cord blood when they were born, so we wanted to share some information with other expectant parents that may aid in their decision, since they are BabyHunch's primary demographic.
All expectant parents these days, at some point, are introduced to the concept of cord blood banking and thus, are faced with the decision of whether or not to pursue this option for their child once he/she is born. It can be a very confusing concept to those who are hearing about it for the first time. They’ll often receive phone calls from Cord Blood banking companies wishing to sell their service, or at the very least be given brochures explaining the benefits of banking your newborn’s cord blood.
To expecting parents who have never heard of this option, it usually sounds like a no-brainer because of the potential life-saving benefits that the brochures and phone calls surely will highlight extensively. But then they hear the price associated with it and all of a sudden, it’s not such an easy decision. Generally the cost associated with banking cord blood is fairly substantial, mainly because in addition to a large up-front fee, there is also an annual storage fee that you essentially pay forever.
Below is some information that will hopefully assist expectant parents in making the proper decision for their particular situation…
Cord blood is a fairly small sample of blood taken from a baby’s umbilical cord, moments after birth. A baby’s cord blood is loaded with stem cells, which can be potentially be used in the treatment of a wide range of diseases including lymphoma, leukemia, anemia and many more.
Parents have the option to bank their new baby’s cord blood as a kind of insurance policy that, if necessary, can be used in the future if the child himself, or close relatives, should be diagnosed with one of the diseases that is often treatable with the stem cells in the cord blood, including genetic disorders.
Cord blood is collected via a syringe which gathers blood out of placenta through the umbilical cord moments after your child is born. This happens just after the umbilical cord has been detached from your new bundle of joy.
That’s the million dollar question. The odds are very low that you will ever need to use banked cord blood. However, if the situation does arise at some point in the future, it certainly would be a nice option to have. That’s what makes it such a tough decision.
Hopefully this information helps you in some way, but don't hesitate to seek out further, more in-depth information on cord blood banking to make the best decision for your family’s situation.. Some links to other great resources are listed below: