If you are expecting, I highly recommend taking the time to think about cord blood banking pros and cons. I know there is so much to think about when it comes to your baby’s arrival, but this one decision can benefit your entire family for the future.
If you’ve already started thinking about cord blood banking, you probably hit up Google and discovered there is a lot of information out there; an almost overwhelming amount. Below is our simple breakdown of what you need to know!
What is Cord Blood Banking
Before we get into the cord blood banking pros and cons list, it’s important for you to understand what cord blood banking is and why so many parents are choosing to do it! According to the American Pregnancy Association, the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after your baby is born is rich in stem cells. These stem cells can be collected and stored in a private bank to be used by your family if ever necessary or they can be donated to a public bank.
These cells can be used for the treatment of “leukemias and lymphomas, as well as certain disorders of the blood and immune systems, such as sickle cell disease” (FDA, 2021). Plus, there is research being done so that in the future there may be other types of diseases that can be treated with cord blood, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Cord Blood Banking Pros and Cons
This is a decision for you and your loved ones to make, but we hope our cord blood banking pros and cons list will provide you with some clarity.
Pros of Cord Blood Banking
1. Cord blood banking can potentially be life-saving for your baby and biological family members.
Cord blood, which can only be collected at birth, is one of the richest sources of stem cells in the human body. Cord blood banking is your only chance to capture the powerful cord blood stems cells unique to your child. Amazingly, cord blood stem cells have been proven to help replace and rebuild diseased blood cells. They may benefit your baby themselves in the future, a sibling, or another family member.
2. Cord blood stem cells can be used to treat diseases and illnesses.
According to the Cord Blood Association, there are approximately 80 diseases where transplants of either bone marrow or a baby’s cord blood are accepted as standard therapy by the medical community. Some of these diseases – such as leukemia – are well known, but others are rare conditions for which there are limited treatment options.
3. Collecting cord blood is a simple and safe procedure.
The whole process takes place immediately after the birth of your child, and typically, it only takes five minutes. If you plan to do delayed cord clamping, cord blood can still be collected.
One important thing to note is that you want to choose a facility accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) when selecting where the cord blood will be stored.
4. There is the potential of future medical breakthroughs.
According to LifeBank, a blood cord bank, breakthroughs in stem cell research are occurring every day, and banking your baby’s cord blood is an investment in the future. Researchers are already studying the effects that cord blood stem cells may have on things such as spinal cord injury, brain injury, type 1 diabetes, and heart disease.
Cons of Cord Blood Banking
1. There is a significant cost, if choosing a private bank.
Cord blood banking does have a cost if you choose to go the private route. You will have to store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank, which can be pricey. On average, the initial price is around $1000-2000 and then you will pay storage fees of about $125 a year.
2. Cord blood does not have many stem cells.
This means if your baby were to need a transplant when they are an adult, they would require cord blood stem cells from multiple donors.
3. Not all hospitals will collect cord blood.
Collecting cord blood is simple but does require the right equipment and a doctor/nursing staff who knows what they are doing. Not all hospitals are equipped with staff and equipment so it is something you need to discuss with your provider.
4. Not everyone is eligible to have it collected.
If your baby is born with genetic disorders or another illness, cord blood banking is not always an option as the cord blood will contain the same cells.
As a parent, you want to do everything to help and protect your child. Is cord blood banking worth it? That is up to you and your family to determine. Hopefully, our cord blood banking pros and cons list gave you some insight that will help you come to a decision!
*THIS POST IS FOR INFORMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.
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