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Every expectant parent today faces a tough and irreversible choice: Should you bank your newborn child’s cord blood? If you are like most expectant parents, you are perhaps overwhelmed and confused by the choice. On one hand you receive tons of marketing from the cord blood companies touting the important benefits of blood banking. On the other hand, you’ve heard that there is limited medical value to storing your child’s cord blood and the costs are very high.
Here is a quick summary of why you should bank your baby’s cord blood:
- It might just save your baby’s or another family member’s life at some point in the future
- You will only have one chance to bank your baby’s cord blood; the moment immediately after birth.
- The cord blood collection process is simple, painless, and harmless to the baby and mother.
- 30%-70% of people who need bone marrow transplants cannot find a match. Finding a proper match is especially problematic for African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and people of mixed ethnicity.
- By banking your baby’s stem cells, the odds of having a proper match for the baby or another family member improve.
- Especially beneficial if a family member has a condition that can be treated with a stem cell transplant, such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, aplastic anemia, leukemia, metabolic storage disorders and certain genetic immunodeficiencies.
- Future medical advances might allow stem cells to treat even more diseases and be used in more transplant cases than current medical practices.
- I’ve tried to summarize the argument for banking cord blood as succinctly as possible. To gather more information, you can click on the links of the cord banks on the left of the page. Each bank has a detailed (although biased) argument in favor of blood banking.
- In addition, the following articles provide some interesting reading: