Should I bank my baby's cord blood? Baby's Health & Wellness

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baby with umbilical cord attached
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There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to bank your baby's cord blood, from the likelihood of disease to the expense. These moms offer their best mom-to-mom advice on banking baby's cord blood.

Family History Is a Big Factor

"Cord blood banking is biological insurance for future disease, but it may have limited use depending on the disease that needs to be treated. Private cord banking can be very expensive. Public banking is free and recommended by many organizations as personal use may be limited. Depending on the condition that the stem cells are needed for, you may not be able to use your own stem cells. For example, if it's for a defective gene, you can't use the same stem cells because you would just be...

"Cord blood banking is biological insurance for future disease, but it may have limited use depending on the disease that needs to be treated. Private cord banking can be very expensive. Public banking is free and recommended by many organizations as personal use may be limited. Depending on the condition that the stem cells are needed for, you may not be able to use your own stem cells. For example, if it's for a defective gene, you can't use the same stem cells because you would just be substituting that same defective gene -- you have to use stem cells from someone else who carries a non-defective gene.

Ultimately, family disease history, fetal conditions, and costs often dictate the decision [about banking cord blood]." -- Kameelah Phillips, MD, OB/GYN, AdvantageCare Physicians, New York, NY

Bank It Just in Case

"I recently met someone who used their cord blood to treat cancer, and it was very inspiring. I've chosen to do it and am definitely an advocate. I went with a bank that was close to where I live and offers financing."

Decide What's Best for You

"My husband has cardiomyopathy -- it runs in his family -- and as an 'insurance policy' against the disease we are privately banking our son's cord blood. The cells could also be used to treat either myself or my husband, if one of us were to develop an illness treatable with stem cell therapy."

Do Your Research

"I looked into it and read that there's a chance that they might not even use it. It's expensive and I personally would only invest in something like that if you knew your baby was sick or if money is not a concern."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.