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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cord Blood Banking



By Dana D, Charlotte Smarty Pants

As a pregnant woman, I see advertisements all the time for cord blood banking. I am nearing the end of this pregnancy so I am definitely more aware of this because I haven’t really decided what I am going to do. It all seems a little controversial. I did not do this for my twins and I always felt a little guilty about it. My OB at the time didn’t recommend cord blood banking. He said that we were better off putting that money toward the boys’ college education. It was all very new at that time and he didn’t feel there had been enough research. He also had made a good point that there was no regulation in regard to these banks and who knows if they would even be around in a few years. This seems to be the general consensus among physicians. I have spoken to several obstetricians who feel the same way. I have also read several articles where the American Medical Association was cited as saying it feels it could be a waste of money.

All of the above concerns private cord blood “banking“. It appears everyone is in “favor” of donating the cord blood to a public “bank” if you will. Cord blood can be used to treat a variety of diseases, for example leukemia, but again, many Ob’s say it hasn’t turned out to be as successful as they had anticipated. There is around a one in 20,000 chance that you would use this for your child. The cost is thousands of dollars. They say the real value is donating to a public bank that can be utilized by many.

Of course, the private cord blood banks play and tug on your heartstrings. It makes me feel terrible to think, “what if something happened to one of my children and I hadn’t banked the cord blood?”

I am reaching out to you Smarties to see what your views and opinions are regarding this topic. I would also love to hear why you did or didn’t store the cord blood. Again, donating the cord blood is highly recommended if you don’t bank yours. It appears that a high percentage of mothers are unaware of this option and the majority is discarded as medical waste. We would also love to hear what bank you used if you did bank your cord blood and why you chose that particular one. There are several out there these days.


11 comments:

Bethany said...

We decided not to bank for either of our children. We decided that the cost was too high for something we hoped to never have to use. I agree it was a hard decision though- I never thought about the fact that they might not even be there when you needed it- that is totally true. We asked around and no one I knew had banked or was going to bank so we finally decided not to due to the fact that we could use that money for other things.

Platinum Rose said...

This was one of the more important topics for us during my pregnancy as well. For a long time we seriously considered doing private banking. But in the end, we decided to donate it. I hope everyone would choose to donate it, otherwise it just becomes medical waste. Why waste something that could help others, when it's free and easy? Unfortunately, it turned out that when they tested my cord blood, that it was unbankable - not enough cells in it or something. They said my baby used up too many of them! But at least I tried to donate it. I was very disappointed it didn't work out. I wonder what would have happened if we had chosen to do private banking - would we still have paid all those initial fees, to come out with nothing in the end? I'm not sure. But I understand why you are compelled to do private banking. I don't think there's really a right or wrong answer on what to do yet - except you shouldn't just let it become medical waste! The Women's Hospital in Greensboro has a cord blood banking program already all set up, might as well take advantage of that, it's easy!

JoanV said...

I gave my step-daughter a baby gift of banking and did a lot of research. I used cordbancusa because their equipment was top rate and their customer service was wonderful (also they have the best prices that I could find). Their number is 1-888-273-7770

Kape said...

You can save your children's stem cells from baby teeth before they fall out. A dentist performs the tooth extraction just before a tooth is ready to come out. They are more viable than those found in cord blood. One of the companies that saves the cells is Stem Save (www.stemsave.com). It is much less expensive.

I tried to donate my cord blood with my first pregnancy and was rejected! After filling out tons of paperwork and having my ob/gyn agree the rejection without explanation left a bad taste in my mouth.

Tori said...

After much thought, discussion, and research, we used Cord Blood Registry. Although costly, the peace of mind is worth it!

Anonymous said...

We also decided not to bank. I would have donated it, however the hospital I delivered at did not accept cord blood donations.

As for the reasons why - basically all the same ones you listed in your commentary. My husband is a medical doctor and felt the same way your doctors expressed to you. I value his judgment and medical opinion so if he felt it was not necessary that was enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Funny. the picture at the top of the page is the same used by a private bank, the same one recommended throughout this blog with brand name mentions and phone numbers. Really guys, we're just moms to be trying to get the real scoop. not fair as my two year old would say.

cord blood said...

Donating cord blood is mdically safe and doesn't affect pregnancy. Donating poses no health rsiks to the pregnant or the baby. Cord blood was once routinely discarded as medical waste but now its recognized for its life-saving capabilities, ideal for blood transplants because it is rich in self-repairing stem cells.

If you waould like to know more about cord blood, you can vist the http://bloodbanker.com/cord for more information.

Katie M said...

I'm writing to respond to Anonymous who posted a comment February 4 at 4:47 PM. Thanks for your concern. I emailed Dana from CSP to find out how she found that photo, and she replied, "I pulled it from images off of Google when I searched 'images cord blood banking' and obviously had no idea that it was affiliated." For that we apologize, but it was an innocent coincidence.

Also, neither Dana - nor Smarty Pants - offered any recommendations on private blood banks, brand names or phone numbers. Those came in as comments from other readers; we did not solicit those comments.

Please know the comment section is all readers to post ideas, tips, suggestions and/or concerns. That's what makes Smarty Pants a community. We appreciate your concern and wanted to respond. It was, however, just a coincidence.

Ashley said...

I did not donate either of my children's cord blood, however my youngest had a cord blood transplant. So, I am greatful to all those who are able to donate. If a hospital has a cord blood bank, they ask all Moms. Duke Hospital has a bank and that is where we were able to find a match for our son. We learned a lot and we are so thankful to technology and moms who share!!

Cynthia Beattie Mcgill said...

Hello,
You have really explained about basics of core blood banking very nicely. I am pregnant and was recently approached by the representative of a Core Blood Bank about the possibility of saving the cord blood as future insurance for my child. I liked the idea but the cost of perseverance is quite high. I have also come to know that menstrual blood also has stem cells that can be used for transplant. Do you have any idea about that?

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