When it comes to deciding to bank your babies cord blood there are a few VERY crucial decisions you need to make.  The biggest decision is weather or not to donate the cord blood to a public facility or to bank it privately. This is a question that has remained constant in the cord blood industry for years and one that I have been repeatedly asked about.

ABC news recently did a special about cord blood banking. Unfortunately this special was very one sided and didn’t speak the entire truth about public vs private cord blood banking. So now I’m going to clear that up for you. I’m going to explain everything they left out so you will have a better understanding of how the system actually works.

Parents have three choices when it comes to their babies cord blood:

  1. Donate the cord blood to a public Facility
  2. Bank the cord blood at a private bank
  3. Discard the cord blood completely as medical waste

Donating to a public facility: This is a very misunderstood area in the industry by parents. Yes, it is free to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public facility and yes, it is a better alternative than completely discarding the cord blood as medical waste. However there are some down sides:  One of them being that due to lack of space, funding and several other reasons 80 % of all publicly donated cord blood is discarded.  While in a perfect world all donated cord blood would be saved, at this time it is not possible. Another downside is that if your child or any other family member ever needed the cord blood that you donated there is a VERY high chance that your cord blood would no longer be available. This brings us to another downside,  if you ever required cord blood for treatment it could cost you up to 40,000 dollars to obtain the cord blood from a public facility. Lastly in order to donate your cord blood you must give birth in a hospital that allows public cord blood collections.

In the ABC special it was clear that they intended to persuade parents to donate cord blood publicly. They forgot to mention all of the above reasons not to….

Private Cord Blood Banking: To bank your cord blood at a private cord blood bank it could cost anywhere from 2,00-3,00o dollars. These costs range from bank to bank and  many cord blood banks offer payment plans to help with your budget. Possibly the best part about private storage is that your cord blood will be used at your discretion.  With the amount of stem cell research being conducted more and more diseases,and various medical conditions such as injuries are becoming treatable with the stem cells found inside of cord blood. It is only a matter of time before stem cells from cord blood become commonly used in the medical field. The costs to bank your babies cord blood privately is actually very small when considering a persons life span. Private cord blood banks are charging you for a service, a service that can save and improve lives. Nothing different from pharmaceutical companies that make medicine to treat diseases.

Discarding: Until my baby sisters cord blood was the first to be collected in 1988, this priceless medical miracle was always tossed in the trash!

I am an advocate for ALL cord blood preservation be it public or private. I strongly encourage you to educate yourself on this important issue before deciding. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, don’t let it pass you by! If you have Any questions about this topic please check out my live webinar on Friday June 4th at 4 eastern at http://www.allaboutcordblood.com  This is an interactive webinar with Q&A.

Please feel free to e-mail me anytime with any questions or comments at natalie@allaboutcordblood.com!

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry