Cord Blood Banking

What is it, and did you bank your baby's cord blood?

When you get pregnant, you get a lot of information on a lot of different topics.  One of the more recent options parents have is whether to bank their baby's cord blood.  The American Pregnancy Association defines cord blood banking as using "external facilities as a place to store and preserve your baby’s cord blood." 

The APA says cord blood has an abundant source of stem cells that you can bank as a kind of "insurance," in case such stem cells could help with a medical issue down the road.  The National Cord Blood Program  at the New York Blood Center has complied a list of 70 diseases that doctors have treated with cord blood, including immune system related genetic diseases, cancers and blood disorders. 

Cord blood banking is not cheap.  The APA says expect to pay $900 to $2,100 for an initial fee, along with annual storage fees around $100. 

Since it's unclear how many people are actually able to take advantage of their stored cord blood, some have accused cord blood banking companies of marketing expensive and unnecessary services to parents, calling the practice unethical.

What are your thoughts?  Did you bank your child's cord blood or know anyone who did? 

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