Saving Cord Blood: The Pros and Cons

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For those who are having a baby, one area of conversation is whether or not to save your cord blood. This procedure takes place when blood from the umbilical cord is taken and stored at a private blood bank. This process takes place as soon as the baby is born.

There are actually many benefits to this process, but some downsides as well. Learning more about these items will help you determine if it is the right choice for you. Here is some more information to consider.

Pros

One of the main reasons parents choose to save this blood is because it is rich in stem cells. This is especially helpful if your child become sick down the road. These cells can treat your child if they have certain illnesses or diseases. It is even possible to use these cells to treat other siblings that may have these illnesses and diseases as well.

Some who have saved their cord blood have even been able to use the stem cells to treat other relatives with diseases. In the end, saving this blood is something that could be compared to insurance in case your child ever becomes severely ill. But, not all doctors support every family saving cord blood.

Cons

As great as cord blood is, saving it is not something every family should consider. Many doctors say that for most expectant mothers, the costs related to saving the blood far outweighs the remote chance they will have of benefiting from saving the blood. In most instances, the odds of actually using the blood is extremely low, which makes the process impractical and expensive.

In fact, there are actually very few instances where the child winds up using their own banked cord blood. Research shows that only about 1 out of 200,000 children require their cord blood at a later time. While it is not tracked accurately, it is possible that only 14 patients have fallen into this category and needed their cord blood.

The main issue with cord blood is that the diseases that are treated with it are extremely rare. This means that the odds of ever having a need for cord blood is slim. However, you will still be expected to pay a fairly significant processing fee as well as an annual storage fee of at least $100. Plus, the blood is actually only viable for the first 10 years, so it will not be helpful forever.

For most families, saving cord blood is not an option that seems practical. However, there are other families where this is the right decision to make, especially if your child is at risk for diseases that could be treated by cord blood. The best way to decide is to examine your own personal circumstances and discuss the choice with your doctor.

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