Written by Salina Jivani
I remember when I was pregnant for the first time and a friend of mine asked me if I was planning on saving my baby’s cord blood. My response: What’s that?
Of course as a soon-to-be mother, I felt compelled to Google and learn ounce of information I could get my hands on to make sure I was making the best choice for my baby.
For those of you who are expecting or plan to start families in the future or even if you already have children of your own and want to learn a little about this concept, here’s some good information to know. Plus, if you know the decision of whether you should save your child’s blood cord is one that looms in the near future, we’ll share important facts that will help you make an educated decision.
First, let’s start with the basics.
What is cord blood?
Quite literally, cord blood is as its name suggests—blood taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn. This blood is known for its richness in hematopoietic stem cells, which are what cells are before they become blood cells. Because of how fresh these cells are, they can be used in successfully treating certain diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia and lymphoma and repairing important body components like tissues, vessels and organs.
The beauty of blood cord is that its benefits aren’t specific to only the person whom it comes from—it can be taken from anyone and benefit anyone at any time—in infanthood or adulthood.
Why parents choose to save cord blood
Many parents choose to save their baby’s blood cord as insurance in the unfortunate event their child develops a serious disease. The thought is that if a health emergency ever occurs in their child’s future, or perhaps in that of another family member’s, the blood cord serves as a security net to help cure the disease better than any other alternative.
What other options do I have ?
You can either save your baby’s blood cord in a blood bank for your family’s use or you can choose to donate it to a public blood cord bank where it will be available for other people who may need it.
If you decide to save your child’s blood cord and store it in a prmivate bank, there is a monthly cost associated with this choice—and it comes with a hefty price tag.
On average, most private banks charge a one-time fee of between $1,500 – $2,000, plus an annual fee of $100 – $300.
The pros and cons of saving cord blood
Of course as a parent, we want to make the best possible decisions for our kids, and like with any other major decision in life, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of saving blood cord for private use so you can decide whether it’s a good option for you and your family.
· Assurance for your family’s future health in the event of specific diseases
· Can be used to benefit anyone in the family
· Can be life-saving
· Heavy price