Cord Blood Banking

Click here for a link to my podcast episode.

Today’s podcast is a bit of a controversial one. Stem cell research has grown a TON in the past 10 years or so. There are now over 100 conditions that can potentially be treated with stem cells. At anywhere from $1,200 – $4,000, it is a very pricey option but, in my opinion, totally worth it if you can afford it. There are also public banks that you can donate to or that people can utilize if they don’t have their stem cells banked privately.

Below are some interesting links regarding stem cell research-

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
CBR family cord blood use
American Academy of Pediatrics
Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Program)
Save the Cord Foundation

We were lucky enough to be able to afford this so we decided to do it. I researched a lot of different companies and chose CBR (Cord Blood Registry) because they were highly recommended by people I spoke to, well reputable and been around for a while. Like most other companies, they have a initial one time fee and then a pricing structure based off of how long you want to store cord blood. I chose to pay upfront for 18 years but its also an option to pay year by year.

It was a pretty simple process. I signed up on the website. I had to put in all my payment information (Credit Card) upon signing up. They do not charge the card until they begin storing but they require to have it on file. A week or so later, they sent me a kit in the mail. Here is a little video from their site about what to do with the kit. I completed the info needed in the kit and put it away for a few months. A week or two before my son was born, I put the kit next to my hospital bag. In pre-op before my C-Section, I gave the nurses my kit and I also reminded my doctor that we want to collect the cord blood. They took the kit into the operating room. Once my son was born, they clamped off his umbilical cord, collected cord blood from the cord (this does not hurt baby and baby cannot feel any of this since it is just the umbilical cord). The nurses then package up the blood and/or tissue and sealed it all into my kit. They gave the kit back to me in post op. On the side of the kit is a number to call. My husband called the number, provided our hospital name, our room number and his call back number. Within an hour, a medical courier company arrived to pick up our kit. Within 24 hours, I got a text and email from CBR notifying me that our kit had been received and the our stem cells were processed and stored. Easy as that!

Now, for the next 18 years, we have our son’s stem cells saved in case we need them. A really neat thing is that not only can our son’s stem cells but used to help him, but they may also be able to help my husband and I (and any siblings). Parents will always be a partial match to a child’s stem cells and siblings are also a partial match!

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