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Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Pros And Cons

Updated on June 29, 2012

Umbilical Who?

Before we begin, allow me to start that this article's sole intention is to provide an informed and entirely unbiased run-down of pros and cons related to cord blood banking, without judgement and certainly without endorsements of any kind. Though I do hope the information provided will empower you to make the right decision, no matter what you feel it is.

Cord blood banking is a modern practice which, rather than simply disposing of the released placenta, looks to preserve the umbilical cord blood because it can help saves lives down the road (both that of your child, as well as others). If you'd rather learn the medical and ethical ground-rules before beginning this article, you can find a fantastic overview on cord blood banking by following the provided link.

Still here? All set? Onwards!


Pros of Cord Blood Banking

  • Cord blood banking is a harmless procedure. Contrary to what some claim, there are no consistent and evidence health risks. Some claim that clamping too soon can deprive the baby of iron, blood and oxygen, the truth is that clamping is delayed until after the cord has stopped pulsing, thus the collection itself has no consequences.
  • Cord blood collection saves lives, and can greatly improve post-transplant success and quality of life in recipients. Here are a few reasons future transplantee may wish to thank you and your baby:
  • Lower risk of viral infections which can be lethal to recipients (such as Epstein-Barr and cytomegalovirus)
  • Lower incidence of graft vs. host disease. This is where the immune cells present in cord blood are less likely to harm the recipient's tissue.
  • Drastically increased treatment availability due to the fact that a perfect match is not required.
  • Stored cord blood is frozen and stored right-after the procedure meaning that in case of necessity it is ready to be used very quickly.
  • Of course, a solid altrustic principle is not the only reason this procedure may be entirely beneficial, stem cells collected at birth may end up saving your own baby's life on day! (I'll discuss the odds of that later).

Cons of Cord Blood Banking

  • Perhaps the greatest con is simply the fact that Private cord banking is usually expensive process. Not only is there a lump sump to pay regarding the procedure, ongoing storage fees can add up over time. Expect to pay in the range of $1000-$2000 for the first year of storage and the procedure. After that, storage becomes significantly less expensive, but an expense nevertheless.
  • Almost of all debates of umbilical cord blood banking pros and cons will weigh of how much realistic use the storage will end up being with regards to your baby. Although the value of the procedure is invariably beneficial to others, spending thousands of dollars on something which is unlikely to directly help your own family may seem a bit steep. I have found that the the general consensus is a possibility of around 1:10,000.
  • Despite the procedure incurring a small blood loss, many parents don't like depriving their child of anything.
  • One cord only provides enough stem cells to treat a child or young adult.
  • Ethical considerations regarding stem cell research may prevent some parents from considering the procedure.

The Weighing Scale

No matter where the scale tips, I hope this information has been of relative interest to you! At the very least, you'll know what questions to ask your doctors!

A brief reminder in lieu of our adieu, for those considering public cord banking, make sure to register before he 34th week of pregnancy.

Have a nice day!


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    • WryLilt profile image

      Susannah Birch 2 years ago from Toowoomba, Australia

      CON: The baby misses out on up to a third of its blood supply, raising the risk both immediately after birth and over the first year of life.

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago

      We just banked last year with Stemcyte and we're so happy we did. It's great peace of mind.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      hey didnt know about this. good information. thanx for sharing.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you for your time and comments Deb and ghome!

    • ghomefitness profile image

      ghomefitness 6 years ago from Chicago,IL

      It is expensive but I look at it as insurance. Like all insurance you hope it is never needed.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Very insightful and helpful information for anyone who is about to become a parent!