Cord blood banking: To invest or not

Cord blood banking is the new “it” thing recommended to all pregnant mothers by their consulting gynecologist. Now, there are two different opinions when it comes to investing in cord blood banking, ones who are pro and others who are anti.

I personally went ahead and invested in one of the leading cord blood bank. During my visits to the doctor and specifically in the last few months of my pregnancy, my doctor shared the information about why it was required. She gave a very brief introduction to get us thinking about if we wanted to invest in it or not.

So, what is cord blood banking? The cord blood collection process is where the blood left from your newborns umbilical cord and placenta is safely collected, and then deposited in bank specifically meant for storing cord blood, and hence the name cord blood banking.

Why would someone deposit the cord blood? This blood is a very rich source of blood stem cells. Stem cells are what form the crux of a human body. These are what are used to repair tissues, organs, and blood vessels. Stem cells are not just found in the cord blood, but every part of human body. So, why just invest in cord blood? It is because stem cells found in other parts of the body cannot be restored that well to be used for treatment and medical purposes.

Currently, the cord blood stem cells have proven useful in helping science in curing multiple diseases such as cancers, leukemia, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies. They have also been used to cure rare metabolic disorders found in infants, which if left untreated could have proven fatal.

My experience with the whole process of saving the cord blood was pretty simple. I opted to save the cord blood for my family’s personal use. But, many people are not aware that cord blood can be saved in public banks as well thus helping those who need the cells in case a match is found. For me, since it was a private bank, the process was very simple and timely. The members from the bank came few days before the actual delivery (date was known since I had a C-section) and handed over a box of medical things that I had to carry to the hospital. The day before my operation, I called the bank and let them know of my delivery time. The team arrived in time and as soon as the cord was clipped, it was handed over to the bank members for further processing and safe storage.

The whole process took fairly maximum of 20 minutes - none of which I was aware of! I believe in science and when I invested in cord blood banking, I put my money for experimentation. If cord blood research succeeds in curing loads of disease and I pray I never need it, I am planning on donating it to a public bank after the expiry. I am yet to find out if that is possible or else I am doomed.

The choice is yours if you want to invest a huge amount just for the belief in science like me. But, if you are not going to invest in a private bank, please try and donate it to a public bank so that someone’s life can be saved. Have you invested in a private cord blood bank?