Cord Blood Companies and Uses
Learn the cord blood pros and cons. Should you consider cord blood banking when your child is born? What are the cord blood uses, and how do you choose cord blood companies? Answers to your many questions about this popular birth insurance.
Chances are, if you’ve been to your OB’s office lately, you’ve seen posters, pamphlets, and other literature about cord blood banking. Cord blood companies have saturated doctor’s offices with these advertisements, but what are the read cord blood pros and cons? Is there a downside to banking your baby’s umbilical cord?
What is Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing a baby’s umbilical cord after birth for possible future use.
Cord blood companies, for a fee, will store your child’s umbilical cord blood in the event that the child, a sibling, or another family member develops a disease or disorder where the cord blood can literally save their life.
As it applies to surrogacy, the intended parents should have the sole decision on whether or not to bank their child’s cord blood; as it does not affect the surrogate, she should not be part of the decision making process or cord blood pros and cons.
Cord Blood Pros and Cons
There are good and bad points to think about when deciding on whether or not to bank your baby’s cord blood. Here are some cord blood pros and cons to consider.
Pros to Cord Blood Banking
- Cord blood can save your child’s life
That statement says it all. If your child were to develop a devastating disease that cord blood could help, having your child’s umbilical cord banked could be the difference between life and death.
- Cord blood can help other members of the family
Cord blood is used as an alternative to bone marrow. If a sibling or another family member is diagnosed with leukemia, your child’s cord blood may save their lives.
- Cord blood is not painful to collect
There is no inconvenience to the mother or to the baby.
- Banking can bring peace of mind
After all the trouble, time, and expense it has taken to get your child to this world, the peace of mind banking his cord blood brings may be worth it. Its just like an insurance policy; if the worst happens, you are more prepared.
Cons to Cord Blood Banking
- Cord blood banking costs money
The biggest con to cord blood banking is the cost. While it is a drop in the hat in comparison to IVF and a surrogate pregnancy, it does cost a couple thousand to set up in some cases. Families already over extended by the surrogacy process may not be financially equipped to handle this fee too.
- May not be able to use
If your child were to be diagnosed with leukemia, one of the many cord blood uses, chances are, the disease would be present in the cord blood as well. In this case, you would need the cord blood from a matching sibling.
- May never use
Though I’ve listed this as a con, hopefully, your family will never need to use your banked cord blood. But, I’m of the mind that I would rather have spent the money to have it available and not used it, than saved the money and found that I desperately needed it later.
Cord Blood Uses
The following are just a few of themore than 70 known cord blood uses.Plus, as this science grows, more and more uses are being found.
The most well-known of the cord blood uses is for an alternative treatment for leukemia other than a bone marrow transplant.
Whereas this treatment would probably not assist the same person whose blood was collected, this can be a life saving gift from a sibling’s cord blood.
- Blood Disorders
Many blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (AMT) can be treated with cord blood.
- Metabolic Disorders
Inherited disorders such as Hunter syndrome, osteopetrosis, and congenital erythropoietic.
Treatment for severe combined immunodeficiency and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, among others, are cord blood uses.
Should You Bank Your Child’s Cord Blood?
Should you pay to bank your child’s cord blood? Here’s the bottom line: it’s peace of mind. If you can afford it, why not? It may save your child’s life, and it can’t hurt.
On the off chance that something horrible does happen, you will be relieved if you have the solution you need. Wouldn’t you rather look back on this time in your life and say, “Oh man, I paid for this and never used it” than “I wish I would have taken the opportunity when I had it.”
If you have decided not to use a private cord blood bank to have your child’s cord blood available to you if you should ever need it, then consider donating your child’s cord blood to a public bank. You won’t get to keep it for your own use, but it might help save a stranger’s life.