When your baby is born, there’s no need to keep the umbilical cord. But the blood it holds is a potential life-saver. It’s rich in new stem cells, which can be transplanted and used to treat more than 80 diseases and conditions. Those stem cells generate into healthy cells and tissue.
That’s why more and more parents are deciding to save and store their babies’ umbilical cord blood. But there are options to consider. You can donate your infant’s cord blood to a public bank for anyone who needs it to use, or you can bank it for your own family’s future use.
So what are the things you need to know before choosing where to bank your baby’s cord blood?
Public Cord Blood Banking
• Public Cord Blood banking is free
• Much like organ donation, you’ll know it will go to a family who needs it
• Once you donate, you have no rights to your stem cells
• If your child or family member is in need of the benefits of cord blood, there is no guarantee that you or children can use their own blood cells.
Private Cord Blood Banking
• A child is always a perfect match to his or her own cells, and a strong match for family
• Availability of a transplant is immediate
• You own the cells, and your full rights to use it are preserved
• There are processing fees and storage fees
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that nearly 18,000 children and adults might benefit from a potentially life-saving bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant every year. Only 60% of patients looking for a transplant find a match.
If you choose to use a private cord blood bank, there are payment plans available to make storage more affordable. Learn more about banking cord blood on our web site.