April 19, 2011

To bank or not to bank?

Posted in Pregnancy tagged at 5:16 pm by lifebytheday

Mommies (and mommies-to-be) – did you (or are you planning to) bank your baby’s cord blood?

And if yes, which company did you choose?

After everything that we went through to have this baby, and assuming that science will continue to progress, I’m strongly leaning towards banking ours…but definitely with a company that offers a payment plan. 

What else should I be considering?  It’s hard to tell which companies are more closely tied into the scientific research community, and which ones provide the safest banking centers.

All input welcome…thanks!



  1. Ashley said,

    We did not bank because right when we were thinking about it there was a 20/20 special that it is a waste of money. More than half of the disorders that they list in their brochures are genetic diseases that cord blood would be helpful for, but not their own cord blood so they suggested donating it and banking it so anyone can use it.

  2. Kacy said,

    I mulled and mulled and researched and talked to people and mulled and mulled and researched this over. My two biggest hold ups were this – with 99% of the list of current uses it can only be used on a seperate child, NOT the child which the blood came from and secondly, there is actually a lot more research into using other types of stem cells not those from cord blood for example stem cells from bone marrow are used for promising MS research.

    However, when I looked at the one-time initial cost of the banking plus the small yearly storage fee, this was pennies compared to what I spend on DH and I for life insurance each year and pennies compared to the “stupider” things I will spend money on during the course of my child’s life.

    Therefore we did it. No one else I knew had banked the blood although many people considered it. Knowing that we want more than one child was also a factor in my decision.

    I ended up choosing ViaCord even though my OB recommended CBR. Be wary of Dr. recommendations as they get contracted $$kick backs$$ from a company. Also, many OB’s charge a fee for the collection process you will want to ask if yours does. Mine didn’t. However do ask you OB if you or your DH have any reason to consider it. Different ethnic groups do have risk reasons to participate.

    Some companies also store the tissue now. We didn’t do that as I felt the blood was enough at this time. I was very happy with ViaCord’s service, however, make sure your DH is fully on board because it is something you have to remind Dr.’s and nurses of and in the heat of the moment can easily be forgotten.

    Inland banking is the safest. Don’t choose a bank on a coastal region or tornado zone. Don’t worry about the research community, if a huge discovery is found it will only be a matter of time before they are all doing it. And besides it’s the hospitals that will be executing anything needed. Be more concerned about HOW they store the blood. Make sure the blood is tested before storing to make sure there are adequate numbers and that is is stored not in one big batch but many smaller batches so it can be thawed, tested, and used multiple times if needed.

  3. Kacy said,

    Also, there are public donation banks in some parts of the country that you can donate it to if you are in one of those areas. Generally anyone can participate in those banks. There isn’t one within 1000’s of miles of myself.

    Lastly, I would feel incredibly guilty if my second or third child could have used the blood and I didn’t pay the “pennies” up front to have saved it. Small up front price to pay for saving a child’s/cousin’s/family member’s life. Yes the chance is rare, but it wasn’t one I was willing to pass up.

    • Kari said,

      We didn’t. After the research I did seemed to point to the fact that it only helps someone it doesn’t come from we decided against it. There’s no guarantees for us that there’s going to be a second child. In our case we asked for delayed cord clamping so LD got all the cord blood in his own system. It has a lot of great benefits, including a big boost of iron for the baby to help ensure there’s no iron deficiency after the first 6 months. We felt like it made more sense for him to have his own cord blood immediately.

  4. nobabyruth said,

    I have been thinking about this very same issue. I mentioned it to my hubs at the last OB appointment when I came across a flier and he didn’t seem all that interested. But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a good idea. We can afford it and the health of our future children is a priority, obviously… I need to look into it a bit more and talk some more to the hubs about it all…

  5. Catherine said,

    We decided not to bank our baby’s cord blood. We’re currently almost 36 weeks pregnant. It had nothing to do with the cost and everything to do with the fact that much of the research does not support private banking. Prior to actually reading the many medical journals we read, our inclination was to bank the baby’s cord blood. We talked with, emailed, and reviewed the private cord blood bank’s literature. After reading the medical journal articles, our perspective changed dramatically.

    Our OB, as required by our state’s law, explained to us three options for CB banking: (1) private banking (charge); (2) public banking (no cost); and (3) medical waste.

    After doing extensive research in the medical journals including pulling many of the journal articles that the private cord blood banks cite to for their support, we decided against private banking. One of the biggest issues I had was that many of the journal articles the companies cite to, don’t support the proposition that the companies cite them for. That’s a big no no in my business and immediately raises my hackles. I also have a major problem with the scare tactics that the private banks employ to coerce vulnerable pregnant couples to bank. We also looked at the different types of preservation that the private companies use and in many cases samples stored with the private banks and then later needed were not viable. Then we did some less scientific research; we asked our friends, many of whom are accomplished physicians, what they did for their own children. Unanimously, none of them banked. Then we asked our OB if she banked her own children’s cord blood; again negative. We asked the same question to our MFM specialist; negative.

    Ideally, we would have donated the cord blood to a public cord blood bank. Their methods of storage are better at actually preserving the material for future use, there is no charge, and we do believe cord blood could be beneficial in certain circumstances to us or others so we really did not want it disposed of as medical waste. To that end, I researched public cord blood banking options. Unfortunately, the hospital we are delivering at does not work with a public cord blood bank. (As an aside, recent funding for public cord blood banks has been scarce and much of it in recent years has been focused on getting minority donations into CB banks because of the scarcity of those donations so many of the hospitals that the public CB banks are focusing on are inner city hospitals with large minority populations). After I discovered that our hospital does not work with a public cord bank, I researched a recent trial program that I read about which began in July 2010 and was set to run for a year or until the $$ ran out. This trial program was for mail in cord blood donations. Three public cord banks were part of the trial: two in Texas and one in North Carolina. I contacted all three and all three indicated that we were too far away (MD) to donate because of the risk that the samples would not be viable. Since the public bank foots the bill for the processing and shipping of the sample, they have a vested interest in making sure that it reaches them in time to be viable. This can be a particular problem if you deliver over a weekend or holiday when overnight fed ex is not an option. In that case, a special courier needs to be used to get the sample to the cord blood bank (private or public).

    Ultimately, we won’t be banking our son’s cord blood and I guess I’m all right with that. I do wish that public banking was a more viable option. Our OB would NOT have charged for the collection.

  6. iamstacey said,

    I also was seriously considering it but also read that usually it doesn’t end up helping in most cases. I would have donated it into the bank but even for donation there is a hefty collection fee, so with all the other costs right now we decided not to do it.

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