The umbilical cord is usually thrown away after childbirth. You may have seen ads or read magazines requesting expectant mothers to save their child’s umbilical cord since it can save him or her in the future. It doesn’t cost anything to take your baby’s umbilical cord blood to a cord blood bank. This should not be an issue since the umbilical cord will be discarded anyway.
The problem arises when it comes to private cord blood banking. Private cord blood banks make a lot of profit from innocent parents. It is advisable that you donate it to public banks for free.
Cord Blood Banking
The stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used in transplants to cure a wide range of pediatric conditions. Some of the disorders include sickle cell disease, leukemia, and metabolic disorders. Individuals who require cord blood transplant need to find a match either from an unrelated person or a sibling.
A self-transplant (autologous) can be performed if a child’s cord blood has been stored in a private cord blood bank. However, you can’t do self-transplant for leukemia since the cord blood may contain the disorder.
Reasons for Saving Umbilical Cord Blood in a Private Bank
Parents who decide to save their baby’s umbilical cord blood in private banks may find the cost friendly. It also gives them insurance and can be a good investment in case their kid needs it.
This is a good idea for parents who have a child suffering from sickle cell anemia, lymphoma, leukemia, thalassemia and other diseases that require a transplant. It is a good idea if a family member has a disorder that needs a bone marrow transplant.
Reasons Why You Should Not Do It
One of the issues associated with private cord blood banking is that it is quite expensive for many families. You have to pay a considerable processing fee, banking fee, and an annual storage fee. The chances of a child needing his or her own umbilical cord stem cells are very slim.
Also, there is no guarantee of effectiveness and safety in autologous cord blood transplant in treating malignant neoplasms.
Also, your child will still be treated for conditions that require umbilical cord transplant even if you didn’t store it. You may also find cord blood match in public cord blood banks.
Should You Do It?
Apart from profitable cord blood banks, there are other options for donating cord blood. Plans for creating a national network for cord blood stem cells are still underway. This network will help in preparing, storing and distributing umbilical cord blood stems to patients who require transplants.
Although the bill has not been passed, money has already been allocated to fund a report on how to implement the network. We hope that the legislation passes as soon as possible.
Public cord blood banks are available in various cities. You can donate your child’s cord blood for free. This will help other children that need transplants. But if you are comfortable with private cord blood banks, then you can go for it.