View Full Version : Cord Blood Banking?

02-28-2006, 10:11 AM
DH and I are trying to figure out whether to scrape up the money for cord blood banking. Baby is not genetically related to one of us, so we think it might be worth the investment. But, most people we talk to say it is not worth it. Any thoughts appreciated.

02-28-2006, 10:50 AM
From what I know of it, it's not worth it. It can only be used for a sibling or family member, not the child the cord blood came from. It's been 2 years since I had a baby so if that is changed, I don't know.

02-28-2006, 10:58 AM
We did it. What the PP said was correct, at least when we did it. I went back and forth trying to decide, and ultimately decided I'd rather have it (even if it could only be used for a possible sibling). My DS is bi-racial, and there is a shortage of donors who aren't caucasian. One of my friends who's a nurse was the one who wreally convinced me to do it (along with a biracial doctor in the OB/GYN practice where I went). She had a friend who needed a donor and couldn't find one.
I read strong arguments both ways, and ultimately decided to do it. Good luck making your decision.
Also, be sure to research the particular cord banks really well. There's a huge range in quality.

02-28-2006, 01:27 PM
When I was pregnant I asked my OB what he thought about cord blood banking. At the time his wife was also preg. He said they are not going to waste their $$ on it b/c it has not been prroven to really work (not his exact words but you get the idea). He said instead of spending $2000 on that, buy a really good bicycle helmet b/c more kids are harmed by accidents than cancer etc.

I really liked my OB so his opinion counted quite a bit. If my DD gets cancer and could have used her cord blood will I be kicking myself? Absolutely, but I went with the odds. To me it does seem like a racket...the up front payment and then pay every year to store it. Hmmmm..If I was independently wealthy, I probably would have done it.

Good luck w/your decision.


02-28-2006, 02:33 PM
> Baby is not genetically related
>to one of us

I looked into donating the cord blood to the cord blood bank but was unable to do so because my DD was concieved through donor insemination. I don't know if this is your situation but I do know that they require quite extensive medical history/background. My situation was a little different because I was going to donate the cord blood to a general bank, not specifically for my child, and they advised me that because I would not be able to provide the detailed history they would need it would not be possible to accept the donation. Having said that, it may be different if you are banking the cord blood for your own child only - also I am in Canada so the rules may be different here.

Good luck - hope it works out for you if you decide to go ahead!


02-28-2006, 06:24 PM
If you or anyone in your family works in the medical field, you may be eligible for a disount. They don't advertise it, so you have to ask. My company did not require proof, just my verbal word.

Amy Z

"Ma!" to Eliana 2/04 - She's 2!

02-28-2006, 10:41 PM
unfortunately, in our experience, this is one of those topics where you will find the answers pretty much split right down the line.

just as an example, my ob and np both recommended it to us. like you, we also had a 'genetic' reason for considering it (DH has a history of an auto-immune disease that can be genetically linked, although no previous family history before him), which led to their recommendation.

in contrast, my aunt and uncle (one is an ob at a major teaching hospital, the other is one of the top gyn-onc's in the country) were split. my aunt said 'i would absolutely do it if i was having (my cousin) right now.' my uncle said 'the evidence is just not there' and that 'they don't have a track record yet.' my aunt said less than 5% of the patients in her practice actually have it done come delivery day.

in the end, we did decide to do it. ultimately, even if the research on future applications has not caught up with our ability to store these cells today, i think it will be in the next decade or so. only time will tell. it is a gamble either way. should you go into debt to do it - probably not? if it just means cutting a few 'luxuries' out for a few months - might be worth it?

i totally agree with the pp. there are a lot of choices out there, and they are not all created equally. from what i read/heard from my aunt, your end result (total number of cells) is also very dependant on your ob being familiar and comfortable with the method of harvesting the cells. although with the growing research and success with cell expansion technology, this may not always be the case.

like all other parenting decisions, you just have to make the best decision you can with the info you have at the time and not beat yourself up about it tomorrow, next year or 30 years from now. hindsight will always be 20/20.

just my thoughts on the subject :)

02-28-2006, 11:38 PM
I am a pediatric hematologist and I have had several patients who have had cord blood transplants. The only patient whose sibling's cord blood was banked did not get it for his transplant because it was not an adequate match.

The previous posters are correct that at this time the only use for the cord blood would be for a sibling, but please keep in mind that there is only a 1 in 4 chance that two full siblings will match each other fully. Sometimes lesser matches can be used but this is rare.

If the baby is only genetically related to one of you, and if you may have future babies who will not be full siblings of this baby, then the chances of this baby's cord blood being useful for a future sibling are extremely small, probably close to the chances of two random people matching each other. I'd say that this would not be worth the money given the situation that you've described.

I also hate the deceptive marketing techniques that these private banks use, but that's a different story... Anyway, I would encourage you and everyone to donate their cord blood to a public bank.

Hope this is helpful. If you have other questions I can try to answer them for you.


03-01-2006, 12:10 AM
Just to add to this, and to reiterate something I said in a PP, if you do not have the medical history of both parents, the public banks will not accept the cord blood for donation (in Canada, anyway - not sure about other countries).

03-01-2006, 04:02 AM
We didn't do it with DS because it was pretty new and we didn't know much about it. With DD, I asked my OB about it and she said she wouldn't recommend it because if the cord bank storing the blood goes out of business, we don't know what would happen to the blood. They could just file bankruptcy and shut their doors. I thought that was a pretty valid point, plus like a PP mentioned, studies are still being donw on the benefits of banking.

03-01-2006, 12:37 PM
Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate it.

03-01-2006, 04:18 PM
Wait! I'm late to the party. Two years ago when I was pregnant with my son, I tore my hair out with frustration over the lack of consumer information about cord blood banking. I was just apalled at what was available. Which was almost nothing. Once you make the choice to bank privately, then it's a quesiton of with whom, and they're all businesses, and they all want you to go to them. I was just beside myself. But I clawed my way thru all the info, and I've memorialized the experience with fact, my opinion, and what we did and why at this post here --> http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=37&topic_id=222802&mesg_id=222802&listing_type=search

If that link doesn't work, the post is called "Cord Blood Banking - My Experience," and it's posted in 3 different forums.

We did bank privately, and I think we would again. We did this becuase ther is always a chance that it could help our son or any siblings that he may have. However, public donation is also a great thing, and it's something we may do in the future. It is FREE and while it won't help your child, it could always help others.

One day, cord blood banking will be a free service of hospitals, like blood banking, I am quite sure. There's alot of misinformation about it (largely due to the private banks and marketing, whether intentional or not), and there are alot of false assumptions, too. Whatever you do, it will be the right choice. As long as you're educated about it and can make an informed choice, then that's the right one for you.

Very best of luck to you!

03-01-2006, 06:13 PM
DH and talked about this one for a while too. In the end we decide not to because 1) it IS very expensive, and there hasn't been enough research to show this is actually effective 2) There are public cord banks already, so 3) you can always donate your cord blood to the public bank. Which suddenly reminds me that we forgot to put that in our birth plan! Oh well, next time.

03-03-2006, 10:40 AM
Actually, there have been several successful transplants of stem cells from cord blood by both Viacord and CBR. I don't know if they were for the donor or a family member, but they have definitely happened (my previous post has a link that explains this in more detail).

I see the main difference between private and public as insurance vs. gene pool. Privately banking cord blood is blood that belongs to you and only to you and can only be used for you and/or your designates (who match). Genetic problems render it useless, yes, but other things can be addressed with it, or issues with other family members. Public banking adds to the pool of available stem cells for use by society. Once you donate, it's gone and not "owned" by you anymore. But it gives other people who may need a stem cell transplant the opportunity to be a match -- like a blood bank or organ donation registry.

They're both good. I wish that all people who choose not to bank privately donated publicly. It's free, and it takes almost no additional effort once a mother's delivered. Maybe one day, we'll get there!

03-03-2006, 10:53 AM
I know there are so many argumentative points on this matter. Ultimately, you and your hubby will have the final word. That being said, we didn't opt for this. My DH is a molecular geneticist and works also in the hematology division and it was a mutual consensus for us based on current science info. available. I do highly suggest to donate the cord blood.

03-03-2006, 11:07 AM
How does one donate cord blood to the public? Do I just ask? Who do I ask? My ob-gyn? Some cord blood bank? When? My child will probably be an only, but it seems a shame to waste anything that could potentially help someone else.

03-03-2006, 11:24 AM
Some hospitals don't allow donations to public banks. We looked into this, and our hospital didn't allow it. I thought it was strange, because it's one of the best hospitals in our area.

03-03-2006, 11:28 AM

03-03-2006, 12:06 PM
Cool, thanks!

03-04-2006, 11:32 AM
Make sure to ask for the donation kit to be mailed to you well in advance, like couple months before your due date. I did not and it was not enough time to get it to me on time so we did not donate. Also, I got an impression that the donation would cost me a bit extra, I don't remember anymore who would charge me, my OB (for collection) or the hospital.