Should I bank my baby's cord blood?
Real Mom Problem
“We are thinking about preserving the cord blood of our baby, but it is quite expensive. Initial cost is around $2,000 and per-year storage fee is $125.”
- 1. Cord blood banking allows you to store your baby's umbilical cord blood for use in the future, in the event your child or a relative develops a condition that might be treatable with a cord blood transplant
- 2. Consider your family history of disease when deciding whether to bank your baby's cord blood
- 3. Some moms choose to donate cord blood instead of investing in private banking
- 4. If you practice delaying cord clamping, you may not have enough cord blood to bank
Real Mom Solutions
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to bank your baby's cord blood, from the likelihood of disease to the expense. These moms offer their best mom-to-mom advice on banking baby's cord blood.
Bank It So You Have It Just In Case
We banked my last baby's cord blood. I hope I never have to use it, but if I do then it's there.
We used a local cord-blood bank called Xytex. They had financing that made it possible. I hope we don't have to use it, but it is there if anyone in the family needs it.
I randomly met someone that actually used their cord blood to treat cancer (cannot remember which type), and it was very inspiring. I have chosen to do it, and I am definitely an advocate of cord-blood banking. I went with a bank that was close to where I live, and they offer financing, which made me able to do it without fretting about the cost too much.
We are going to bank our baby's cord blood! We didn't do it with our daughter, but I think the $2,000 cost is NOTHING if it could save one of my children's lives. I would pay a million dollars for the reassurance it will give me in case any of them were to get sick. I think it's amazing and I'm looking forward to writing that check!
Consider Donating the Cord Blood
We will be banking our baby's blood in a donation bank that is for the use of everyone.
I personally donate my kids' cord blood and do nothing with the tissue. Our family is healthy and none of our relatives suffer from anything you'd treat with cord blood. So, it's donated. However, if I felt we were genetically in need, I would save both cord blood and tissue.
Cord Blood Banking Isn't for Everyone
If I had major illnesses in my family then I would have thought about banking the cord blood, but with my kids, we didn't cut the cord until it was done pulsing.
I think cord-blood banking can be a good thing in certain circumstances. I know someone who's looking into it because a close family member could have been treated with it if he'd had it banked. But for us, it's not an option. For one thing it's out of our price range, and beyond that, I would rather my baby get his cord blood at birth (delayed clamping). If we had a risk factor like mentioned above, it might be different, but we don't.
Not sure how true it is, you would have to look into it, but I remember reading an article about storing cord blood when I was pregnant with my daughter (five years ago), and it said that the odds of there being enough blood, or of it working to cure a sibling are very low, and a lot of times it is not even usable. You may want to research that.
I looked into it and there is a chance that they couldn't even use it if they needed it. It's expensive and I personally would only invest in something like that if you knew your baby was sick, have cancer in your family very prominently, and if you have thousands in extra money to spend on such a long-term commitment.
We didn't bank our baby's cord blood because we delayed cord clamping and cutting to allow all that blood to go back into the baby where it belongs! Fast clamping can rob the baby of up to 30% of their blood supply. If an adult lost that much blood, he'd get an emergency transfusion!
I was going to donate, but decided to delay clamping instead. Unless you have a family history of something, I wouldn't worry too much about saving it. Although, if you have a family member with a health problem at the time you give birth, you can have your cord blood collected for free at some places and they will attempt to save your family member.
Research & Decide What's Best for You
I will be thoroughly researching cord-blood donation and discussing it with my son's doctors and my midwife before I make a decision.
My husband and I will be privately banking our son's cord blood. My husband has Cardiomyopathy -- it runs in his family -- and as an "insurance policy" against the disease we would like the cord blood (stem cells) to be there if needed, should our son develop the "family curse." The cells could also be used to treat either myself or my husband, if one of us were to develop an illness treatable with stem-cell therapy.
If we did not have this disease in my husband's family, we would not be doing it privately. We may have donated, though. Delayed clamping is fine, too, but normal, healthy babies are fine after birth whenever their cord is clamped. This is a trade-off that we feel is wise for us to make, for our son's future.
You can delay clamping AND store the cord blood. I know because I had it done with my first son. We were able to delay the cord clamping and still able to collect his blood from the cord for banking. There's actually an abundance of information available on the internet, you just have to make sure that the articles aren't outdated since stem cells and their use are still being heavily researched and it's at the forefront of medical technology. I think that it is amazing and exciting what we may be able to cure in the future.