Given the rising popularity of cord blood banking among expectant parents, we’ve seen a steady growth in the number and size of these institutions. There are over 130 public and private banks that offer storage services for your baby’s cord blood, with some charging as much as $2,000 for initial registration and an additional annual fee after the first year. In light of this proliferation, it’s important that mothers looking for top cord blood banks understand what exactly cord blood is and whether or not a cord blood bank is needed. After all, given the high cost of many storage services and limited information about different providers, making an informed decision will be essential to ensuring your child has access to their own stem cells if necessary.
How Can Cord Blood Be Used to Treat Disease?
Cord blood stem cells are immature cells that can be used to treat some of the most common childhood diseases and conditions. They can be used to treat diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and many other blood-related issues. Doctors have also used cord blood stem cells to treat some autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes. These stem cells have many advantages over other types of cells used to treat diseases, such as bone marrow. Bone marrow transplants can be risky and have high complication rates. These transplants can also take a long time to produce new stem cells. By contrast, cord blood stem cells can be collected quickly and easily. Cord blood stem cells are also easier to match with patients who need a transplant. This is because cord blood stem cells are less likely to cause an immune reaction in the patient. In addition, there is a large supply of cord blood stem cells. This means that there is a good chance that there will be a match for a patient needing a transplant.
What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a child. It is rich in blood-forming stem cells, which are found in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These cells are able to transform into other types of cells, like liver or heart cells. Cord blood can be collected at the time of the baby’s birth and stored for later use, or it can be collected after the birth of the baby and then frozen. The blood collected after birth is called the “cord-blood” and is usually stored in a public blood bank or in a private blood bank.
How Should Parents Decide Whether to Store Cord Blood?
The decision to store your baby’s cord blood should be based on whether or not you think it makes sense financially and medically. If you expect to have children with a genetic illness and you think that cord blood stem cells might be able to help, then you should probably store your baby’s stem cells. If not, you can skip the process and use the cord blood for other immediate purposes, like blood transfusions for the baby or to replace a blood clotting factor. To decide whether or not to store your baby’s cord blood, you’ll have to consider a number of factors, including the availability of public banks, the medical benefits of storage, and the costs associated with storing the cord blood.
What’s the Difference Between Public and Private Banks?
Public banks collect cord blood donations for use by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. They operate at no cost to the donor (beyond the initial registration fee) and are generally nonprofit organizations. Private banks collect cord blood for a specific child and, therefore, only for use by the family. Private banks charge a fee for the collection and storage of the cord blood, and they maintain ownership over the cord blood even after the child is old enough to use it. Public banks may only be able to store your baby’s cord blood for a limited amount of time, particularly if the collection process is delayed. Private banks, on the other hand, can store your baby’s cord blood indefinitely. These longer storage times can make a big difference if you ever need to use your baby’s cord blood.
What Are the Costs Associated with Cord Blood Storage?
In general, the costs associated with cord blood storage are relatively low. The initial registration fee is usually around $100, and an annual fee may be charged after the first year. These costs are often covered by health insurance. For example, some health insurance policies will pay for the entire cost of cord blood banking. It’s important to check with your insurance company to see if they offer coverage. Beyond the initial registration costs and the cost of storing the cord blood, you’ll also have to consider the costs of later retrieval. These fees can vary significantly from one bank to another, so it’s important to do your homework before selecting a storage service.
Summing it up
Cord blood is the blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a child. It is rich in blood-forming stem cells, which are found in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These cells are able to transform into other types of cells, like liver or heart cells. The decision to store your baby’s cord blood should be based on whether or not you think it makes sense financially and medically. If you expect to have children with a genetic illness and you think that cord blood stem cells might be able to help, then you should probably store your baby’s stem cells. If not, you can skip the process and use the cord blood for other immediate purposes.