Cord Blood Options
When my husband and I found out we were expecting our second child this Thanksgiving, the first thing we did was jump online and sign up on all the baby sites for free baby things. Pretty soon our mail box was being filled with all sorts of coupons and advertisements, among them, companies offering to bank our baby’s cord blood.
Cord blood, for those who may not know, is the blood that remains in the umbical cord and the placenta following birth. We all know that the placenta and umbical cord play an extremely important role during pregnancy. It is the life line for our babies. After delivery the blood in the umbical cord could save not only your baby’s life if need be, but others too. The reason is because of the extensive amount of stem cells found in the blood that can be used in the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases. Usually, these cells work best when they are used in the patients own body but you do not have to store cord blood just for your baby. There are many options.
First, you can store the blood in a private family cord blood bank. This is where the blood is collected and stored should your child or matching family member ever need it. While it gives some parent’s peace of mind that there is some form of treatment available should something ever happen to their children, there is a cost. First, some companies charge anywhere in the vicinity of $1700 just to collect the blood. Second, the blood is stored long term using cyopreservation and there is usually a yearly fee for storage. Some companies offer payment plans to help out.
You can also donate to a public bank. Donating your baby’s cord blood is not going to cost you anything, and you could be saving someone’s life. In order to do this, find out if your hospital collects the umbilical cord blood donations and work with them to find out if you are eligible to donate. In order to be eligible to donate you must be at least 18 years of age, HIV negative and have no risk to HIV or AIDS. You also must be cancer free and not a diabetic. If you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during your pregnancy you should still be able to donate, but if you had any tattoo or piercing with in the last 12 months you are not eligible.