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Why you should donate cord blood to public banks

Why you should donate cord blood to public banks

by

Claudia Boyd-Barrett

posted in Pregnancy

Ignore the private companies offering to store your baby’s cord blood for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and instead donate it to a public cord blood bank for free, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Your baby’s cord blood – the blood left over on the umbilical cord and placenta after birth – contains stem cells that can treat and even cure some serious diseases such as leukemia, immune deficiencies and metabolic disorders. These diseases are rare, so unless your family has a known genetic risk for a disease, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need the cells. But if the cord blood is stored in a public bank, it could save someone else’s life.

Public cord blood banks match blood with patients in need all over the world. Private banks store cord blood for your family’s use only.

Mom-and-newborn

Cord blood in public banks is used 30 times more frequently than cord blood stored in private banks. Donating your baby’s cord blood to a public banks is free, whereas a private cord blood bank may charge up to $2,000 to collect the blood, and then between $100 and $175 a year to store it.

What’s more, private cord blood banks don’t have to meet the same quality standards as public banks, so if you did need to use blood from a private bank it might not be as effective as publicly stored blood, the AAP said.

Collecting cord blood is safe, painless, and doesn’t interference with the labor process. The blood is collected after the umbilical cord is cut.

Find out more about cord blood banking and how to donate to a public cord blood bank.

Have you stored or considered storing your baby’s cord blood? What option did you choose and why?

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