We did not choose to do cord blood banking. The doctor handed us the fliers early on, but it was the last thing on my mind during the pregnancy. By the time I got around to thinking about it I had run out of time to prepare the paperwork for donation.
What is cord blood banking?
Umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used in transplants to treat a variety of pediatric disorders including leukemia, sickle cell disease, and metabolic disorders. There is no scientific data to support that transplantation is effective from the donor back to the donor.
Why would you pursue private cord blood banking?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”) recommends “private cord blood banking for [those] who have an older child with a condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as a genetic immunodeficiency.”
Why wouldn’t you pursue private cord blood banking?
The AAP also notes “families may be vulnerable to emotional marketing at the time of birth of a child ...” In fact, the research estimates are so unreliable that the possibility that your child will need a cord blood transplant is anywhere from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 200,000.
Another reason not to pursue private cord blood banking is that the high costs outweigh the benefits. First-year fees can range from $595 to $1,835, depending on which private bank you choose. Annual storage fees are usually about $95.
What happens to donated cord blood?
Public cord blood banking, or donating, means that the baby's cord blood is stored in a cord blood bank and is available to anyone in need of a transplant or may be used research purposes.
See AAP.com for more information on how to donate cord blood.