Since 1992, when the first bank for umbilical cord blood was established, expecting parents have one more choice to make: should they store their newborns cord blood or not? I have decided to look into the matter as, recently, one of my friends told me they are expecting and they are having a difficult time making a decision.
So lets take it from the beginning. What is cord blood storing? It is a procedure that involves taking the blood from the babys umbilical cord right after birth and storing it, for a certain fee, in a blood bank.
What is the purpose of cord blood banking? The blood from the umbilical cord contains stem cells, which can later be used in the treatment of various serious, life-threatening diseases the child could develop. So there you have it, this is the big picture. Now lets look closely at advantages and disadvantages, so that in the end, you, as a parent can make an informed decision.
- The procedure is simple and safe cord blood collection is done in a way that does not interfere with the well-being of the baby or the mother, therefore posing no risk for either of them. The procedure is also painless.
- Storing prevents the cells from aging and protects them from environmental factors that could minimize their abilities.
- The cells can be effective in treating the child from diseases such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, various types of cancer or blood disorders.
- The cells can be used in the treatment of the aforementioned diseases in the family members of the child, as well, and in anyone compatible.
I would not call them exactly disadvantages, downsides might be a more appropriate term:
- The price banking cord blood can be quite expensive and rarely eligible for insurance coverage.
- If there is not already someone in the family that might benefit from a stem cell transplant, the odds that the baby will need one in the future are low. But on the plus side, with the fast rhythm science is advancing, more opportunities might be discovered in the future.
If you decide for cord blood banking, as my friend did, in the end, the decision process is not over yet. At least two more important decisions are to be made: the banking facility and the courier company that will take the blood to storage.
Luckily, when it comes to courier companies, Toronto has quite a vast offer, so it is easy to find those that are equipped properly and can make the delivery in the safest conditions. Do your research well, check references, call and talk to them, and do not hesitate to ask questions. Once you have chosen a courier, give them all the details, so that everything may run smoothly on the big day.