Decision Focus: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking


Expectant parents are bombarded with decisions to make during pregnancy. Will they have their baby screened for birth defects? Do they want to find out the sex of the baby before the birth? Does the mother want to have a natural birth or opt for pain relief? These days, moms- and dads-to-be can add yet another decision to the list: Will they store their baby’s umbilical cord blood? Here is some information that can help parents make an educated choice before their baby is born.

Why would we want to store or donate our baby’s cord blood?
Blood in your baby’s umbilical cord after birth contains special cells that can be used in transplants to treat certain types of leukemia or other blood diseases. Donating cord blood is a lot like regular blood donation. If you donate it to a public bank, your baby’s cord blood can help to save the life of someone who needs a stem cell transplant. Or it might be used for vital medical research.

How is cord blood collected?
After your baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped, blood from it and the placenta are collected into a special kit. The process is painless and takes just a few minutes, and parents may not even be aware of it. Parents have to submit a form with the family medical history as well as a consent form. The blood is then sent for processing and storage at a public blood bank or private storage facility.

Should we bank privately or donate to a public bank?
Many parents choose to pay for private cord-blood banking “just in case” someone in the family might need it for medical treatment one day. Cord blood from another family member might be an ideal match.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages private cord-blood banking unless the baby’s full sibling already has a condition that might benefit from a cord-blood transplant.

Why? Many conditions for which cord blood may be used as a treatment are already present in the baby’s blood at birth. That means the cord blood would be useless to treat the baby. And if no one else in the baby’s family ever needs it, the cord blood at a private bank will go to waste. At a public bank, though, the baby’s cord blood can be matched to any person who might need a transplant. If a family member does need a stem-cell transplant later, he or she may be matched with a donor from the public bank.

What is the cost?
Donation to public cord-blood banks is free to parents, just like regular blood donation. Private banking of cord blood, though, can be very expensive. The initial fee, including some storage time, may be thousands of dollars. Annual storage fees after that first year or two may cost hundreds of dollars a year. Many parents see this as an “insurance policy” of sorts and consider it money well spent for peace of mind. However, they should be aware that scientists and doctors don’t yet know how long cord blood can be stored before it “expires” – regardless of whether it is banked publicly or privately.

Making the decision
If you’re not sure what you want to do, talk to your doctor about the options. He or she will be best able to answer your questions based on your family medical history.

Halle Berry

Cosmetic Surgery for Scar Removal

Cosmetic surgery has emerged as a safe and sure method for improving the physical features and enhancing the overall... ...

Halle Berry

10 Tips for Using Eye Makeup Safely

If you wear eye cosmetics like mascara, eyeliner, or eye shadow, be careful. That brown mascara might make you... ...

Halle Berry

How Safe or Unsafe is Plastic Surgery?

Looking good has become extremely important these days with the advent of numerous visual mediums. We are readily... ...

Halle Berry

8 Tips to Boost Your Fertility

Getting pregnant is a matter of perfect timing. The chances are in your favor that something is not medically wrong... ...

Halle Berry

Breathe Deeply! Tips for Being a Labor Coach

Giving birth involves a mix of physical pain and emotional joy. During childbirth, the mother does all the work.... ...

DASH: Designed for Every Body

DASH: Designed for Every Body

Diets are a lot like fashion. Depending on the season (and which celebrity is currently obsessed),...

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor has likely advised you to eat...

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Looking for easy ways to boost the nutritional value in your food? ...

Does Advertising affect Eating Disorders?

Advertisements are all around us. What we see impacts us in some or the other way.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

In the age of electronics, there are many trends that turn into addictions....

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and ...

Skin Care »

  • Global Hand Washing Day

    Global Hand Washing Day

    The primary practice aim was mobilize people and transform handwashing from being just an abstract idea to an automatic ...
  • Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Children are very notorious and they can literally give a deaf ear to their parents when the latter ...
  • Personality Type Diet Plan

    Personality Type Diet Plan

    The Personality Type Diet has been crafted by Robert Kushner. He is a known expert on ...
Easy Way to Stop Smoking
Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Medical practitioners all over the world have been constantly appealing ...

Self Hypnosis Techniques
Self Hypnosis Techniques

A self hypnosis session requires a strong suggestion, proper relaxation and delivering ...

How to Tighten Loose Skin
How to Tighten Loose Skin

Loose skin is a common problem that a lot of women as well . ...

Careers in Speech Pathology
Careers in Speech Pathology

With a rise in speech-related problems in people, speech pathologists are in great demand

8 SureFire Tips on How to Lose Inches Off Your Waist Fast

Want to know how to lose inches fast?

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer
The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

Do you have a problem with your knees?...

RiRi
Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

How do I dare to say that it is easy to quit smoking? ...

Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match
Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match

All parents want their children to grow up healthy and develop discipline...

Don't miss

Take It Easy: Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

What are shin splints? Typically, shin splints cause pain or tenderness along the shin bone from inflamed muscles,... ...

Fit to a Tee: The Basics of Golf

Think golf is just a slow-paced game for businessmen in plaid pants? Think again – it might be worth taking... ...

9 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Have Time

You know exercise can help improve your health and lose weight. Yet, 1 in 4 adults doesn’t exercise, according... ...

Chemo and Forgetfulness: It’s Not All in Your Head

Chemo and Forgetfulness: It’s Not All in Your Head

If you’re undergoing chemotherapy and you feel more forgetful than ever, it’s not all in your head....
Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

How do I dare to say that it is easy to quit smoking? YES, IT IS EASY!!! Most smokers realize within the first...
Risk Factors for Eating Disorders in Athletes

Risk Factors for Eating Disorders in Athletes

Being an athlete could prove to be an immensely rewarding profession. However, to maintain oneself in this profession...
Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Medical practitioners all over the world have been constantly appealing to smokers to give up the habit for many...

How to prevent Body Odour?

Each and every inch of human body has a dissimilar smell (yes, the bad one); occasionally the odour is so idiosyncratic...
Muscle Toning: Getting That Chiseled Look

Muscle Toning: Getting That Chiseled Look

Men generally like to build muscle, while women prefer to “tone” their muscles. Toning involves making...