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Cord blood banking: Is it worth it?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I'm looking into cord blood banking and was wondering if anyone else is or if they have with previous children they've had.

 

Is it a good health insurance investment, or more of a rich parents' safety net?

 

Some statistics for where I'm looking into it suggest that there is a 1 in 200 chance stem cells may be required to assist a person. When you break down that figure, that's actually not that high.

 

Then there is cost (naturally). It's going to be around NZD $2900 for the initial kit and first year storage. After that it's NZD $215 a year - no guarantee the company doesn't go bust in the meantime.

 

I'm looking at the pros and cons and trying to get a feel for whether it's a good thing or if money is better spent elsewhere. Your thoughts?

post #2 of 18
We did bank ds2's cord blood over 7 years ago. Haven't had any reason to use it yet. I considered doing the same with ds3 but decided it was more important for him to get as much of his own cord blood as possible at birth rather than saving it for something that most likely will never happen. Now with baby #4, it has crossed my mind again but we won't do it. I just don't see the need.

I think it's more of a novelty thing and not something that is worth the money in any kind of practical terms. I haven't refreshed myself on all the details lately but I think there aren't that many diseases it can be used to treat or cure. I believe it can possibly be used among siblings and other genetic family members so I do feel a little bit of comfort knowing that I have that safety net. I think it can only be used once.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input MarineWife.

Yes, I wondered if it might have been a bit of a novelty. I can see potential practical applications for spinal cord injury etc, but when do we stop trying to cover all bases in a world of infinite possibilities and let life become what it is supposed to?

 

I guess the idea with cord blood is that you don't want to ever have to use it, but just in case. It also means that when the child becomes an adult later on, if advances in cancer etc prove the cord blood to be useful, they have their own supply.

 

Reading your comments makes me feel a bit more grounded. Thank you!

post #4 of 18

I've never done cord blood banking, because like the pp, I want the baby to have all of the blood s/he's supposed to!  Here's a good article by a midwife who used to do cord blood collection (she no longer does).

post #5 of 18
Kristi ~ That's a great article. When I had ds2 I didn't know about delayed cord clamping. I didn't realize that it was common practice in hospitals to clamp the cord immediately after birth, essentially cutting off baby's blood supply. I didn't know there was any significance to any of that. So, I didn't know there were any possible risks or problems with banking the cord blood. Luckily, I learned more about it before having ds3 and was able to make a more informed decision. (I also had a homebirth with him so there weren't any normal hospital procedures to have to decline or fight against.) I now believe that letting baby have all of his/her blood at birth goes a lot further in disease prevention and treatment than banking cord blood might. thumb.gif

I do still pay the $900 a year to store the blood we did bank but every time that bill comes around I wonder why. I think there have been some advances in the use of stem cells since we banked the blood but not much. I've also come to disagree with a lot of the medical treatments available for extending life that maybe shouldn't be extended by treating disease that may just be part of the natural process of life. It seems that everything is a disease these days. Aging in and of itself is considered a disease by the medical community. That means that from the moment we are conceived we are diseased. Crazy!
post #6 of 18

This is me too, the blood belongs to my baby at birth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

I've never done cord blood banking, because like the pp, I want the baby to have all of the blood s/he's supposed to!  Here's a good article by a midwife who used to do cord blood collection (she no longer does).



 

post #7 of 18

We banked DS #1's cord blood. However, I've since done much research and wish we had allowed for delayed cord clamping. We will not be banking Sprout's blood and will delay cord clamping. The article that ultimately led me to decide this is here.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

I've never done cord blood banking, because like the pp, I want the baby to have all of the blood s/he's supposed to!  Here's a good article by a midwife who used to do cord blood collection (she no longer does).


Wow! I read the article and then followed the link to the cord clamping info page and remark at how much I have to still learn about the physiology of a baby at birth. Thank you for that.

 

All the other posts so far, in conjunction with this have certainly swayed my vote. I'm hopeful I can go with the delayed as opposed to premature cord clamping. I had no clue that up to 50% of baby's blood volume was swirling around the placenta and cord.
 

 

post #9 of 18


Ditto this.  I think the blood is better used by baby when it's born than after being banked.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
 
 I now believe that letting baby have all of his/her blood at birth goes a lot further in disease prevention and treatment than banking cord blood might. thumb.gif


 

 

post #10 of 18

Personally, I would ONLY do private cord blood banking if I had an older child who had a disease that could be cured (at this point) with the stem cells. There's a good post on it at Science & Sensibility (http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?tag=nicholas-fogelson). Dr. Fogelson (of Academic OBGYN blog) has a great podcast where he talks about private cord blood banking and basically concludes it's totally pointless for most people who do it. He's a major supporter of delayed cord clamping and thinks the baby who's owner of the blood is best off with it (as are most people in the NCB-world who suggest DCC).

post #11 of 18

I agree with the controversy surrounding private banks.  Certainly the costs associated with this procedure are questionable when you consider the benefits.  It seems like cryo storage - hoping that the future will cure your disease.  Even so, the fact that the stem cells are only good until adult hood really doesn't provide much help for your child later in life.  Corporation preying on the vulnerabilities of new parents. http://cordbloodbankingworthitornot.blogspot.com/

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

I've never done cord blood banking, because like the pp, I want the baby to have all of the blood s/he's supposed to!  Here's a good article by a midwife who used to do cord blood collection (she no longer does).



Same here!

post #13 of 18

Depending on your care provider and where you live, you could consider donating whatever is left after you have a delayed clamping.  It might help someone else in the long run.

post #14 of 18

This thread got me thinking...

 

We have a family friend that suffered a spinal cord injury in a 4-wheeler accident about 10 years ago.  He's paralyzed from the waist down.  For someone like him, if he were to have a child and were to save that child's cord blood would "they" someday be able to use that to help him walk again?  If so, that would be one situation where I would consider doing it.  But only if the injury had already occurred...not for a "just in case there's an accident someday" kind of thing.

post #15 of 18

BubbleMa, Parents and children aren't always matches, so it would really depend on the situation. As far as I know, stem cells are more useful in bone marrow transplants and so on than they are (so far) for treating spinal cord injuries.  If I were a minority, I might consider it more.  A friend of ours died at the age of 18 because he was mixed race and they couldn't find a bone marrow donor that matched.  Had his mother been able to save his cord blood (which was not an option when he was born), it might have saved him.

 

I'm still debating it.  I have a rare blood type and I just can't shake the possibility that my child could get leukemia or something.  At the same time, I know it's like preparing for a really miniscule probability and that it probably doesn't make much sense monetarily or health-wise.  I just don't know. 

post #16 of 18

Cord blood banking and delayed cord clamping are at odds with one another, and while I'm not going to dive into that argument it's something you should be aware of.

 

As others have said, it's not clear that private banking is a great option. The expense versus the odds of it ever being useful just don't seem to match up. Public banking seems to be a much more reasonable option, and in many places doesn't incur any cost to the donor (ok, the donor's parents, since most newborns don't have a lot of cash).

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cord-blood-banking/an01997

 

For us, stem cell use and research on the long-term storage of them would have to be a lot farther along than it is now to consider private banking.

post #17 of 18

Personally I would rather baby get that blood immediately. It's very important.

post #18 of 18

I wouldn't do private cord blood banking- it's expensive and there is no guarantees- that is, they could damage the cord blood, go out of business, etc, and you are out your $.  I do not believe that there are many regulations governing the banks.  

 

With DS#2, I was going to donate his cord blood since he is mixed-race (half white/half asian) but I gave birth the Sunday night before Labor Day, and they told me that no one was around to collect the blood.  I guess I could only donate Monday - Friday from 9-5!  So we delayed his cord clamping and called it the day.

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