What's cord blood banking and should I do it?

Cord Blood Banking is when you collect, freeze + store the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord for future medical use. The cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, which can develop into other types of cells. They can help repair tissues, organs and blood vessels that can treat diseases. The process of collecting cord blood is fast, easy and painless. 

If you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood, you can do two things. You can donate it to a public cord blood bank or you can pay to store it in a private cord blood bank for your family to use. If, god forbid, your child develops one of the diseases that cord blood can help treat, it would seem like a no brainer, right? Just know that the price to store your baby’s blood for years is steep, like in the thousands of dollars steep, and in reality, the chances of your child benefitting from their cord blood is less than .04%. The diseases currently treatable with cord blood are not only very rare, but it’s likely that those stem cells found in the cord blood contain the same genetic defects. However, in helping other family members, you could be happy you did it. And donating it to a public bank, where it may one day go to a child in need is another wonderful way to use it.

As per usual, just remember to ask the right questions when your healthcare provider brings it up, and as always, you do you.