Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It?
Is cord blood banking worth it? There are many things to consider before deciding if it’s right for your family. Discover the benefits of cord blood banking.
If you are an expectant parent, you know that much of the preparation takes place before the baby is born. Planning for finances, prenatal care, insurance coverage, baby names, and delivery details can be exhausting for parents-to-be. Having a checklist of items to prepare for can be extremely helpful. Do not forget about the critical decisions that should be discussed months before the baby arrives. Would you prefer a home birth or hospital birth? Will you have a doctor or midwife? And the sooner you make these decisions, the better.
In recent years, new options have emerged, leading to more decisions that will need to be made. One of these options is whether or not you will choose to store your baby’s cord blood using a cord blood bank. The benefits are endless, and it is growing in popularity, but the question remains: is cord blood banking worth it?
Today, we will dive deeper into the benefits of cord blood banking and whether or not it is right for you and your family.
Cord Blood and Cord Blood Banking
Before we get into what cord blood banking is, let’s step back for a second and discuss what cord blood actually is. Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after your baby is delivered. During labor, the body will naturally boost the immune system of the mother and baby via the maternal-fetal transfer of cells. This is why cord blood is so valuable at the time of delivery; it is a rich source of stem cells.
The stem cells within the umbilical cord develop to become mature blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) that can boost the immune system by repopulating damaged blood cells. After all, stem cells are the building blocks of our immune system…and that is why more and more parents are choosing cord blood banking (there are also options for placenta banking and cord tissue banking, but today we are simply focusing on cord blood.)
Unless plans have been made to store, bank, or donate the cord blood, both the placenta and umbilical cord are properly disposed of because up until the last decade or so, many parents were not aware of cord blood banking options or their benefits. That is why it is essential that you make your decision at least three months before delivery (but we will get more into that in a minute).
So what is cord blood banking? Well, cord blood banking is the process of collecting the stem cell-rich cord blood and extracting its stem cells. Once the stem cells have been extracted, they are cryogenically frozen for potential future medical use for your child (and family).
Cord Blood Collection & Storage
Cord blood banking is not painful to any party involved and is collected immediately after birth. Details of the cord blood collection are typically handled by the cord blood bank of your choice but should be discussed with your doctor as well.
If you decide to store your baby’s cord blood, the health care team will collect it after the baby is born by using a sterile needle to draw the blood from the umbilical vessels. Once extracted, the blood is properly packaged and sent to your cord blood bank for long-term storage.
The process is short and straightforward and can be completed in under 10 minutes.
Is It Worth It?
So, is cord blood banking worth it? While it depends on a number of factors, including your own health, talk to your doctor or a private cord blood bank like AlphaCord for more information. Here are some of the reasons you should consider cord blood banking:
- Cord blood banking has the life-saving potential for not only your child but other family members as well.
- The collection process is easy and safe
- Private cord blood banking can help if you or a family member have an existing disease that’s treated using stem cells
- It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve your newborn’s valuable stem cells
- Cord blood banking prices are more affordable than ever before
For nearly 20 years, AlphaCord has helped tens of thousands of families to preserve their newborn’s valuable stem cells through cord blood and tissue banking.