Cord Blood Banking? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

I'm trying to decide if we should bank our baby's cord blood after delivery. I've read a lot about it online but was curious if any of you have gone through the process before or have any strong opinions about it one way or the other. At the moment, the major drawback to me, is the cost. I can't find any service that charges less than $2000.00 for collection and then there's the additional storage fee - but of course, I tell myself that a child's life is priceless and how devastating would it be to need the blood and not have it? Ugh, I just can't seem to make up my mind on this one!

Any advice?

Thanks so much!

Working mama to a wonderful baby girl. Married to a really sweet guy. Just trying to do my best.
     
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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We bank the cord blood with our first. Same as you, I want to save it just in case that she need it in the future. Back then, we don't know any better about the babies need their blood after birth. Here in MDC is lots of resources about it, including Lotus Birth. With our second baby we don't collect the cord blood due the multiple beneficts of leave the cord untouch it.

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I've read in so many places it's just not worth it, that the chance of you being able to use your baby's banked blood are slim.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...041301860.html
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/...bys-cord-blood
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Here is my opinion and experience, hope it helps.

I didn't really have any urge to bank DD's cord blood but my mom was really gung ho about it. Not for any particular reason, but "just in case." For my part, I was adamant that DD get all of her blood. Mom and I agreed that we would not prematurely clamp and cut, but after DD had balanced all her blood with the placenta and the cord stopped pulsing, sure, we could see if there was any left to store. Mom paid the initial collection though we would be on the hook for the annual payment (much smaller). Honestly I was not really happy about that but I was a different person then. (Today I'd just say no way, end of conversation).

So we did it as we agreed. There was absolutely no blood left to collect after we clamped and cut. My midwife tried, the assistant tried, and my mom (and RN) tried. My mom was satisfied that we did our best. I was supersatisfied that DD had all the blood she needed.

Anecdotally, it seems that the majority of the time, if you "delay" clamping and cutting until the baby's blood is all settled and the cord stops pulsating, you probably will get some blood but not enough. Sometimes, however, you can.

You would need to check with the banking facility but the two I talked to, including the one we went with, would refund the fee minus about a hundred bucks to cover the collection materials and such. Totally fair, in my opinion. So mom got most of her $1000 back, and was just out about $100 for the venture. In our case, getting the refund was smooth, we didn't have to jump through hoops and they didn't play any games with it.

Other considerations:

- I strongly believe that the cord should be left to pulse until it stops. I believe that premature clamping (and it's the clamping that matters, after it clamps it doesn't matter if it's cut or not - I point this out because some medical professionals "agree" to delay cutting but still clamp immediately. That's total BS.) carries real consequences for the baby. You know how it's a big deal that rice cereal and formula is fortified with iron? Why would babies all become deficient in iron at a few months of age? Doesn't make any sense, does it? Unless you see that the loss of the baby's iron-rich blood on his or her birthday naturally leads to reserves running out long before the baby is ready to eat solids.

The amount of blood lost to the baby due to premature clamping can be significant. I'm all for blood donations, but I believe donations should be made by healthy adults, not babies on their first, delicate day of life. They need every advantage to survive and thrive.

- Cord blood is indeed an amazing thing, but I believe private banking is a real waste of resources. I don't know what the chances are that your family could use the blood in the next 20 years, but they are pretty low. (The blood lasts only a max of 20 years, often less, that's why the time frame). Extra blood should, in my opinion, be donated to public banks. Blood must be matched for compatibility, but your baby's blood is not a guaranteed match either, believe it or not.

- This is a continuation of the above thought, but kind of a separate point... anyway, you might be assuming you are banking the baby's blood for the baby's possible use. Well, that blood of course is a perfect match, yes. However, the chances of your baby needing the blood and being able to use it are low. Why? Because if there are genetic issues or diseases, the blood contains those markers already. Not good to use.

- The blood is most likely to be useful to the baby's siblings (if any). That's useful to consider when making your decision. But please know that the chances of a match at a public bank are reasonable (exact numbers depend on factors like your race - unfortunately there are fewer donations and thus matches for Hispanics and African Amercians, but there are more for white Americans, I don't remember about Asian Americans).

So, there's my completely opinionated point of view. To sum, I think baby needs the blood first and foremost in his or her body. Next, if extra blood can be gathered (if a professional clamps without your permission, or if you don't really believe premature clamping is a big deal, or if there is just extra blood left over after the cord stops pulsating) I believe a public bank is a better and more ethical use of resources than a private bank.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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I can't justify the cost. We donated to Cryobanks International http://www.cryo-intl.com/ with ds. We couldn't with dd2 because I had received a blood transfusion for anemia a little under a year prior. This time we intend to donate again. I talked with my OB about it and she said we could absolutely wait until the cord stops pulsing to clamp/cut. If there's nothing left, then I guess we won't be able to donate. If there is, I'd rather it get used than just throw it away.

Tiffany, loving wife to Matt, Mommy to Samantha (10/99), Tevin (8/04), Cadence (6/08) and babymooning with our sweet little Lauren 6/24/10
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Unless you have a high risk of needing those stem cells (ie. illnesses treated by stem cell transplants running in your family or baby exposed to cancer causing substances) research shows it really isn't cost effective to bank. Better idea to donate if you'd like.

Karen, homeschooling Catholic mom to 8. #9 due 6/10
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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We're looking into donation. I'm hoping one day that cord blood banks will be as common as blood banks are now! But of course, they need people to donate cord blood as much as regular blood.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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We debated this for both kids, my first we had signed up to donate and then the actual birth was an emergency and it never got taken care of. With my son, he came via c-section and we never filed out the paperwork, I can not even remember why. Turns out I am now type 1 diabetic, I found out post birth, and he is genetically high risk for type 1 diabetes and may at some point have a need for stem cells. For most people, however, I think the cost of private banking outweighs the small potential for use.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
- I strongly believe that the cord should be left to pulse until it stops. I believe that premature clamping (and it's the clamping that matters, after it clamps it doesn't matter if it's cut or not - I point this out because some medical professionals "agree" to delay cutting but still clamp immediately. That's total BS.) carries real consequences for the baby. You know how it's a big deal that rice cereal and formula is fortified with iron? Why would babies all become deficient in iron at a few months of age? Doesn't make any sense, does it? Unless you see that the loss of the baby's iron-rich blood on his or her birthday naturally leads to reserves running out long before the baby is ready to eat solids.


I strongly believe as well that the cord should never be clamped prematurely for the sake of banking, either private or public.

Now if there's any blood left in the placenta (or the cord, depending on which method is followed) after the clamping then it could be used for either purpose, but then I read that the amount is usually small to be sufficient for banking and there's always the risk of contamination if the placenta blood is used.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I have also decided not to donate. My midwife leaves the cord attached for about two hours for the immediate health benefits of it. We talked quite a bit about it and I am convinced.. I have struggled with anemia, and it is more prevalent in girls, and this baby is a girl, so that also was something I hadn't considered before..(my other kiddos were all boys).

My stepson had leukemia though, and that was one of the reasons I was considering donation.. to help out some other kid out there.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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i also looked into it for my dd, here it can be done even with a homebirth. after researching it, i felt that the benefits of dd receiving the cord blood at birth far outweighed the small chance of her or siblings needing it in the future. esp as my iron was low late pregnancy, i wanted her to get as much as she could. i am choosing the same for this baby.
hope that helps!

Jese Mom to Elaina (April 2007) & Macy (June 2010). #3 m/c at 10 weeks (July 2013), #4 m/c at 9 weeks (october 2013). Announcing baby Kayla, born October 21 2014.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! I knew I could count on you mamas for great insight and advice. Of course, now I have even more to think about but me, being me, I feel best making a completely informed decision. I had never heard any of the information regarding anemia, which I've been diagnosed with and the benefits of waiting for the cord to stop pulsing. I'll definitely take all this into account before deciding one way or the other. At the moment though, I'm thinking that it might be best to pass on the banking and donate whatever blood might be left after the cord is clamped.

Thank you all so much!!!

Working mama to a wonderful baby girl. Married to a really sweet guy. Just trying to do my best.
     
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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We did it for DS after the cord stopped pulsating. We will do it again for this baby. While at this point there's little use for it, I look at it as a bit of an insurance policy. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Obviously I hope we will never need to use it but I feel better having the back up.
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