An important decision to consider during pregnancy is whether or not to store your child’s cord blood. Cord blood is blood from the baby that is left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It also contains hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some diseases.
Ideally, everyone would be able to store their child’s cord blood for future potential uses. And we all hope that our children never have any diseases or illnesses, let alone ones that may need treatment with stem cells. However, when you have to balance cost with the actual chance you may need cord blood in the future, there is no right answer. Every family should consider what works best for them.
We have a video that reviews all of this information if you prefer to review the information in that format.
For a more details on cord blood storage, read the FAQs put out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
A Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood is another great resource for learning about current and potential uses for cord blood stem cells in the treatment of various conditions.
If you have decided you want to store cord blood, the next question is if you want to pursue public donation or private storage. Since El Camino Hospital is not affiliated with a public bank, at this time, there are limited choices for public donation. Cord For Life is currently the only public bank that is able to send out collection kits to our patients. If you chose to donate, your registration must be complete before 32 weeks, so start the process early, please check their website for details.
Stanford University is also interested in a sample of your cord blood. You can learn more about the Sunbeam Study which aims to learn how environmental and genetic factors play a role in food allergy and eczema development. You can register here.
If you do decide to store your child’s cord blood privately, below are several banks that are established, reputable, and worth looking into:
And of course, if you have a particular experience with a bank and want to share that information with other patients, please let us know. We often post updates of cord banking deals on our Facebook page and others can benefit from your experience.