Thoughts About Cord Blood Banking

Updated on September 07, 2011
L.B. asks from Medford, MA
29 answers

Hi Moms-
I am due with my first child in early June and I doing some research about cord blood banking. Does anyone have thoughts about or experiences with cord blood banking? It is a bit costly, but it seems to be worth it. Any suggestions would be welcome. Many thanks!
L. B.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

HI everyone-
Thank you all so much for your helpful and thoughtful responses concerning cord blood banking. Hearing other people's opinions have been very useful. I am fairly new to Mamasource and have found it to be a great resource. So, again, thank you!!!

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L.L.

answers from Boston on

Hi L.,
It could be a life saving investment and is well worth the cost. I decided to do this and so have both of my sisters.
Better safe than sorry.
Blessings.

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J.F.

answers from Springfield on

L., this is the advice that my OB/GYN explained it to me when I asked:
Saving the cord blood is like a back up in case the child develops some kind of disease or illness. However, the most terminal diseases and illnesses are carried in the child's chromosomes (which is why they look for outside donors. So, the blood from the cord would contain the makings for this disease or illness and would actually be of no use.

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N.K.

answers from Barnstable on

It is a bit costly, but I thought it was worth it. I used CBR, and have had a positive experience. Luckily I have not needed to use any of it yet. If you decide to go with them, I would love to give you a referal (free year of storage).

-N. K.

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K.C.

answers from Boston on

Hi L.,
My daughter will be 4 this coming September and I had many thoughts and questions about Cord Blood Banking. After a doctors visit and a ton of research my husband and I decided that it was best for our family. Since September of 2004, they have found that the cord blood helps if not reverses many diseases. What the future holds for Cord Blood is still unknown but it is a gift you can never buy, trade or even beg for, it is a one time offer, collected at the time of birth. We felt it was one thing we could do for our daughter if heart disease, diabetes or even cancer was to strike her in the future, it maybe an answer for her health and well being. We use ViaCord Blood Bank, they have been awesome.
Good luck with your decision and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
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A.P.

answers from Providence on

I banked both of my children's cord blood and will be banking the 3rd as well. The way I see it, I really hope it turns out to be a big waste of money! It's an insurance policy you don't ever want to use, if you know what I mean. I felt it was so valuable and I have peace of mind if God forbid I ever need it. I just don't think I could gamble with that kind of thing, again, knowing that for some people it truly is cost prohibitive.
Do the research for the different banks. There are different costs. Also, we went through a company called Alphacord. They have contracts with several different banks and provide information which makes it easy to compare, and then they discount the lab prices (like a broker). For example, their yearly storage is 99 dollars vs. 120 at most banks - and you aren't actually using their bank you are using a bank which has a 120 dollar fee. We ended up choosing the Bergen County NJ Elie Katz cord blood bank which is only available to residents within 50 miles of there, unless you go through a company like Alphacord.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
One more thing - to ANYONE who is not saving their child's cord blood for whatever reason, you can donate it at no cost to you. It can then be used for research or to save someone else's child if it is ever a match - maybe even your own (again, I hope you never need it).

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K.B.

answers from Providence on

I have always wanted to do Cord banking, but just couldn't afford it. (and have always felt guilty afterward--what if something happens??)
But I was just recently at a Baby Fair, and I met someone who gave me info, about teeth banking. I had just read an article about a childs 4 top & 4 bottom baby teeth have stem cells in them. You can talk to your dentist about this option (it was alot cheaper!!) The only thing is, the dentist has to extract the baby tooth before it falls out on it's own. But I'll tell you---------from someone who used to do this---to pull a baby tooth out -(-when it is already barely hanging on)
is nothing--the root is already worn away--because the adult tooth is coming behind it--They don't even have to numb the child, it is a very easy job--Look into it.

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J.P.

answers from Boston on

We used Stem Banc. At the time, we were able to prebuy 20 years worth of storage at a reduced rate. It was costly, but now we don't have to worry about it.
Check around and ask for special deals. I got the sense there was a little flexibility with cost.
Good luck,
J.

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P.B.

answers from Burlington on

Hi L.,

I did not do the cord banking with my child because I felt like we could not afford it. The moment they laid my baby in my arms I was sooooo sorry (I think that was the moment that the intense mother protection instinct kicked in.)

It's like health insurance for the future of your child. I will always regret not having it! Congratulations on your
baby! Patty M.

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K.Q.

answers from Boston on

We decided not to bank our cord blood because at the time my son was born (2005), it was still very iffy on how blood could be used. I think if there's a history of diabetes, certain cancers, etc., it can be helpful. But remember, if the baby has a genetic issue, banked blood will not help.

We ended up donating it for medical research through Cryobanks International-- they were super-easy to work with for the donation. My hospital (Women & Infants in Providence) was also great; some hospitals have no experience with cord blood banking or will charge you extra to do so, so check in with your insurance, doc, etc. ahead of time. It's also a good idea to make sure your doc knows/is on your birth plan because there is a specific window in which you have to collect it after birth. And start the process now because I think they can't guarantee you can get the paperwork/materials if it's after 32 weeks.

And I wanted to echo what Andrea K said-- imagine if cord blood was donated all the time? Would we even need a private bank? I gave birth at a renowned birthing hospital a few years ago and it was one of the few blood packages they had done. I wish mothers could make the automatic choice to donate their cord blood rather than have it end up in the medical waste.

And I tried to donate cord blood with my second child in 2007, but because I had asthma, they said they couldn't take the supply. Medical criteria had changed since my first only two years earlier, so check if you have any chronic illnesses.

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M.J.

answers from Hartford on

Hi L.,

As a single mom of a 2 yr old boy. I too had a hard time deciding to bank my sons cord blood due to the cost. What I did was imagine the thousands of dollars I would WILLINGLY pay for treatment IF my son had leukemia or some similar blood disease and the heartache I would endure along with it. The cost of the blood banking did not seem that out of reach to me after imagining that and I ended up banking with CBR. Fortunately we have not had reason to use it but it is a nice insurance policy if we do. I put it on my credit card because they give you a discount if you pay it in full rather than in installmens. Good Luck!

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L.Z.

answers from Boston on

I would highly recommend it! We banked my first daughter's cord blood, but unfortunately not the second, since we were shorter on funds by the time my youngest was born. My husband is diabetic and I always feel better knowing the cord blood is there, should one of my kids become diabetic, or possibly even to use the stem cells for my husband some day. Even if you don't have these concerns, I think it is a great thing to do - more reliable than any insurance plan. You just never know what may happen. We use CBR and I have been very happy with their customer service and communication. I just feel that until some of our political leaders make it easier for scientists to advance stem cell research, at least we have this option. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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A.Z.

answers from Boston on

Dear L. and other moms,

I wanted to bring up the issue of Cord Blood Donations. New England Cord Blood Bank accepts donations (no fees or charges) and makes donated blood available for free to those who need it.

Contact Catherine Quinn for donations ###-###-####
www.cordbloodbank.com

We had considered banking our cord blood. Besides the fact that it is costly, the illnesses that it can be used for today are not in out family radar. I know scientists will probably be able to use this blood to cure more things in the future but for us it was important to be able to help someone else now.

I believe that if more people donate, it will be available to more people. Imagine if you had to pay for blood for an operation?

Anyways, do what is best for your family. NECBB also does private blood and sperm banking and they are in Newton MA.

A.

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S.S.

answers from Boston on

Looks like you've gotten quite a bit of good feedback, but I'll chime in too. We asked our OB/GYN about it when I was pregnant with our 7 month old son. The gist of his response was that science is progressing so rapidly, you just never know what might be possible in a few, let alone 10+, years. So, if you can afford it, why not? It was a definite yes for us. I'm a worrier and having a baby is so expensive anyway, I just lumped it into the 'hey, it costs a million bucks to raise a kid these days' bucket.

Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Boston on

We did not bank with our first in 2005 for many reasons and mostly due to the cost at the time (my husband was switching jobs and it was not feasible). In 2007 we bank our second child's blood with CBR.
I wanted to do it because there is so much that can be done these days. With family histories, it made sense despite the one time chunk cost. (look at payment plan options too)

We researched several banks, as well as family members who decided to bank and those who decide not to bank.

CBR won out as their location, thus far, it warrants no natural disasters, so the blood cells are in the safeset location [from our research, opinions, and discussions].
CBR was fabulous, my rep was so helpful and on top of her work and directed me with what I needed to do, down to calling and congratulating us at the hospital. Top notch customer service!
Our cousin decided to bank for many reasons,including the health in her husband's family. But in reviewing her info and that of CBR's; there is so much that can be done with the blood cells. It is amazing. In the two years since we researched it there was so much more.
My step-son could benefit for the need, our first child, my parent's (my in-law's are deceased but they could have benefited), and brother's and sister's of me and my husband...if there is a genetic link then they can test and see what the % of help the blood cells could be. The closer in blood/genetic link the stronger the %.
My cousin put it this way.."it is like insurance...you have it and pray you never need to use it"

CBR has a one time chunk fee and processing fee and the a 125.00 annual fee until the child is 18. At that point you can all decided to hold on to the cells and keep paying the annual fee (either by the 18 year old or whomever wants the payements).
I sent for information from all the banks and spent time reviewing them all. A rep is available to address information and questions.
Another option, if you feel it is not for you, is to ask about donating the cord blood. So much can be done to help others just from that.
I regret not remembering, amist chaos, with the first delivery. So, if that is your intention, let someone know so it can be addressed, because odds are you will not remember at delivery time!!

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D.T.

answers from Boston on

I have had both of my daughters cord blood preserved. I just felt like you never know what the future may hold in medical science and you only have one chance to preserve these cells. If it can save their lives, or the life of another family member, it's worth it! It is a lot of money and a difficult decision to make. Good Luck - let me know if I can answer any additional questions. - D.

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C.R.

answers from Boston on

Just my two cents..when I was pregnant and researching cord blood, I spoke to both my OB and pediatrician. While cord blood is great for curing some childhood diseases, it is not always necessary or useful for the common diseases they get before the age of 5...which is generally how long you store it for. We decided not to store it, because we were told that most of the problems he could have before that age are not on the list of uses. Good luck to you adn congratulations!

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L.H.

answers from Boston on

Greetings,
I had twins (2 baby girls) in October and my husband and I banked their cord blood. Well ... sorta. My girls were full term, the midwives did the collection at time of delivery however the company we signed with said that the minimun required stem cells were not captured. 100 million is needed. One twins count was 10 million and the other girls was 95 million. In the end we chose to donate what was collected. I am not dissapointed, there was nothing we could have done differently. I looked into doing the banking because I am a proactive rather than a reactive person so anything I can/could have done ahead of time for them I did. I researched all the companies and in the end it came down to CBR and ViaCord. ViaCord had a better long term package that worked for us.
Hope this helps.

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M.B.

answers from Boston on

hi L.,

it is such a good idea to get cord blood however, it is pretty cost prohibitive. i discovered that you could donate your cord blood for free and then they put it in a bank. if your child ever does need it, they are free to use it if it is still there. of course they is always the chance it may go to someone else but if you are like me and couldn't afford the other alternative. at least it is better than doing nothing.

M.

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J.K.

answers from Boston on

Hi - If you can afford it, I say go for it. We didnt do it because we couldnt afford to and I didnt know you could make payments. Recently on the Today show they had a story about a little boy who was born with Cerebral Palsy, his parents saved his cord blood and he was part of some study at Duke University I believe that gave him a transfusion of his own cord blood and since then he has made almost a compete recovery. They said the stem sells know exactly where to go and what to do, so they are healing the part of his brain that had been damadged causeing the CP. I attached the link to this story, because I was so amazed. Its worth watching because you just never know and if you can financially do it, its so worth it. Best of luck to you and your family! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23572206/

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J.G.

answers from Boston on

Hi,

I was going to do it, but when I found out how much it cost, we couldn't afford it. I asked my doctor if it is something he would do himself, and he said he wouldn't until laws are passed to allow more to be done with stem cells. Maybe ask your doctor what he or she thinks about it...I felt guilty at first thinking I wasn't able to help my child, but after talking to my doctor I felt a bit better. It should not be something only for those people who can afford it!

Jenn

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A.K.

answers from Boston on

We also looked into cord blood banking for both of our children and we decided to donate the blood rather than keep it for our family. Our thought was if most mothers are willing and able to donate then there wouldn't be a need to privately bank it. The chances of needing it are slim and I like the idea of the blood serving an immediate need rather than sitting in cold storage just in case. One of my closest friends banked the blood for both of her children and feels that was the right choice for her family. She would feel incredible guilt if her children need the blood and it's not there. I think this decision comes down to what feels right for you.

Good luck with your decision.

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A.R.

answers from New York on

Hello ! I work for a cord blood bank and can give you the facts behind the over-promotion. See http://cordadvantage.com/cord-blood-blog/2011/5-straight-... to find 5 Straight Facts About Cord Blood ViaCord / ViaCell and Cord Blood Registry Won’t Tell You.

Updated

Hi ! I work for a cord blood bank and can give you the facts behind the over-promotion. See http://cordadvantage.com/cord-blood-blog/2011/5-straight-... to find 5 Straight Facts About Cord Blood ViaCord / ViaCell and Cord Blood Registry Won’t Tell You.

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M.L.

answers from Portland on

HI L.,
Have you considered letting your baby get that precious blood? That blood is your baby's air supply and when we clamp it - we in turn are abruptly stopping the air flow, forcing the baby to gasp and "Take A Breath - RIGHT NOW!" This was never the normal procedure throughout history and is still not in any country, except the U.S. A crying baby wasn't considered "normal" birthing conditions, but rather signified a child in distress, until the last 50 years or so in this country.
COnsider letting your baby get the last of it's nutrient and life from the blood and ease into his/her new existence. It's a beautiful thing to ease their transition into our world from the safety of your uterus. It's full of peace and security and overall, that blood is rich with nutrients and they deserve to have it. Babies don't need to cry when they are born. For me, it's kind of sad and cruel and the idea of clamping the cord seemed like choking the baby once I started to research in this direction. From experience - it was a beautiful thing to have my daughter be born with a little squeal and then not another peep, but just tranquility, as her lungs were allowed the time they needed to adapt to their new expectations. We are looking forward to replicating this experience in a few weeks!

Do more research and follow your heart. Good luck and congratulations.

-M.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

Hi L.,
We chose to do it with our son, Jacob, born on March 11th. We used Viacord. It is somewhat costly, but my husband was able to get a small discount as they are a client of his. The process was easy. We registered in advance with them and they sent us a kit ahead of time for the doctor to collect the blood. Then we notified them as soon as I went into labor. Our OB, who also happened to deliver my son, knew exactly what to do (as I'm sure most docs do), then we packaged everything up, following the instructions and someone from Viacord came to pick up the package at the hospital. I thought it was simple and worth it because you never know the future! I think the potential benefits definitely outweigh the costs. However, it is certainly a personal preference and it also depends on your financial situation of course. None of my friends opted to do it, so far, but it made sense to my husband and me. I would look into Viacord for more information on rates, etc.. I can't recall what they are right now.
Hope this helps! Good luck.
D.

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L.C.

answers from Boston on

I'm not one to respond to many questions but this is a decision that we have had to face, so I will offer my experience as a response. Shortly after my then 3 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with leukemia I found my self pregnant with our third child. A member of our oncology staff suggested cord blood donation and we approached it with our oncologist who was 100% supportive and something he felt everyone should do, not just for the possible use that we might have for our son but also he explained that the cord blood could also be used to help other family members. We approached our genocologist/obgyn who was understanding or out particular circumstances but he did make it clear to us that he did not feel the need for everyone to do this. I just want to make it clear to you that not everyone, even medical professionals are on the same page when it comes to this decision. So you need to be sure in your mind if this is something you want to do. The cost is definately an issue and they do vary so you need to do your homework. Most of the up front cost are for testing they run on the cord blood prior to storage our experience showed that these don't vary too much, it is the storage cost that can vary and there are many options to choose from. Some require an annual or monthly fee for storage other organizations allow you to pay up front for a reduced rate. One thing that was brought to our attention that we didn't think about is choosing a location for storage, you want to choose a "safe" place the example that was given to us was you don't want to choose a location that is highly at risk for earthquakes for example. It is a lot to think about at a time when you already have a lot to think about. It has been over 4 years since we banked our daughters cord blood and I am happy to say we have not had to use it, but it is reassuring that it is there. It would be nice if some day cord blood banking became as acceptable as blood banking, and what is considered "medical waste" by many and a second chance at life by others could become universally available to all, until then it is up to the individual who desire and can afford the process.

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M.C.

answers from Bangor on

Hi L.,
I would echo Michelle L.'s response. That blood would greatly benefit your baby at birth! We felt very strongly about waiting until the cord stopped pulsing for it to be clamped and cut, so that our son would be able to start his life outside of the womb with ALL of his blood.
She's also right about crying being unecessary--my son came out quietly alert, had a strong first breath and has been a very engaging and interested baby since then, 6 months ago. I didn't use drugs for birthing and we know that impacted him. He didn't cry until his diaper was changed for the first time!
Congrats! It's awesome!!

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K.F.

answers from New London on

From every doctor I have spoken to, it is ONLY worth it if there is anyone in your family who might benefit. Are there health issues in your family or in your genetics? The chances are so slim you would ever use it, it is not worth the expense.

(I do remember going through this debate with my first child--the ads are compelling and make you think you need to do it, but you do not!)

P.S. I am a music teacher!

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M.C.

answers from Boston on

We have also been considering this for our first child due this summer.
I would encourage you to read up on the benefits of allowing the cord to stay intact until it is done pulsating, rather than being cut to collect the blood. This way, all your baby's blood goes to your baby - it can help keep their iron levels up and get them better oxygenated. And it's free! Just something to think about. I haven't decided yet either but wanted to give you a different perspective.

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M.S.

answers from Boston on

Hello L., I did cord blood banking. You are allowed to make payments. I work at childrens hospital boston, so I saw the advantages of it. Although the chances of ever needing it are slim and there are several things that it can not be used for, I felt it was worth the 1600.00. I felt that heaven forbid that my son ever needed I would be kicking myself fr trying to save 1600.00. I think that this is a personal decision that everyone has to make on there own. I went through viacord, they provide lots of information of the advantages of it. Also ask your ob/gyn mine was very helpful. My Dr had participated in a study before viacord went public so he had alot of information for me. I hope this helps

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