You can [cord] bank on it


[Bella loves the belly]

As we’ve been rolling along with everything, we’ve had to make a lot of medical-related decisions for the baby. Some were easy (like deciding to skip the eye treatment after birth- it’s only absolutely necessary for those with a history of STDs and can make the baby’s vision blurry during a critical time of bonding), and other decisions have taken a great deal of research and consideration. [A few people have asked about this, and we do plan to vaccinate our baby. We’re most likely going to skip the Hep B vac when she’s born, but the required vaccinations will be followed, but spaced out more so she won’t have to get a lot of shots at once]

One of the things we have yet to make a decision about: cord blood banking.

It was one of those things that I heard about and immediately wanted to do, but after doing more research, am not sure if it’s necessary in our situation.

What exactly is cord blood banking?

From this website:

“Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord immediately after delivery and cryogenically storing it for future potential medical uses. Cord blood, which is rich in stem cells, is usually discarded along with the umbilical cord and the placenta after birth.

Collections can take place after vaginal or cesarean births and caregivers do not alter routine delivery procedures to collect cord blood. Because the collection occurs after the cord has been clamped and cut, there is no risk or pain to the infant or mother.

Thousands of families are banking their newborns’ cord blood because it contains stem cells that are unique to the newborn, and genetically related to their families. Cord blood banking enables parents to preserve these precious stem cells for their own potential use for the many developing applications of stem cell technologies, such as its use in treating heart disease and diabetes. It also serves as a type of safeguard in case of future need for treatment of the dozens of cancers and blood disorders that are already being treated with cord blood stem cells.”

The cord blood is removed by clamping both sides of the umbilical cord, and a nurse or doctor will extract the cord blood before the placenta is delivered. It’s a fairly easy procedure –a little more complicated but possible if you have a C-section- and you need a kit in advance from your bank of choice to give to your doctor.

Diseases that can be treated using cord blood:

image Source

Banking cord blood can be extremely beneficial, but we’re still on the fence about it.

Many people who choose to bank their child’s cord blood often have a close family member with one of the above diseases. If you don’t have any risk factors (which we don’t), the risk of this happening is low, but knowing your baby’s personal risk is obviously impossible. In the case of many of the diseases listed, bone marrow can be donated from a matching relative and used for treatment.

Another thing that I’m concerned about is that collecting the blood could cause the baby to have anemia or a low blood count after birth, especially since they use those final moments to store up as much iron and nutrients as possible from the umbilical cord. 

The cost of cord blood banking is very high (around $2000 + monthly storage fees) but we’re not letting cost affect our decision. You can’t put a price tag on a baby’s health, so whatever we need to do financially, we’ll do it.

My midwives have said that they don’t think it’s necessary in our situation, but I can’t help but wonder about the “what-ifs” and being devastated later that we didn’t do it.

Of course, we’re going to continue to weigh the options and make whatever decision is right for our family,

but I’m curious:

Did you bank your baby’s cord blood? What factors had the greatest impact on your decision?

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  1. Leslie Wingate on November 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Yes! We did for both kiddos, and being a small town family, the hospital was new to the process. It was pretty funny, actually. My aunt is in remission from breast cancer and another aunt had leukemia so we’re glad we decided to do that. Each time they get sick, I have that pop up in my mind, “We have cord blood if we need it.” I’m sure it’s not needed for everyone, but it’s a nice little insurance for a few big diseases especially with those having a family history. I know too many kids with leukemia lately anyway.

  2. Courtney on November 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I think you should do the cord blood…cancer isn’t necessarily genetic. Also, why are you skipping the Hep B? I work in communicable diseases for a state health department so I am just curious. In Wyoming Hep A & B vaccines are required to attend public school systems.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      she’ll get it before she goes to school, but not when she’s a baby.

  3. Amelia (Eating Made Easy) on November 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    We didn’t do it, mainly because the research I did showed that even if the health conditions you name above were to occur, it’s very unlikely the cord blood could help. There will always be “what ifs” as a mother, both big and small, which is why we always have to go with our instincts on what feels right. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision for you.

    On the vaccination note, we were thinking of spacing them out too, but there isn’t any evidence that this is safer, and it means they have to have so many MORE appts where they receive shots. Doing a few shots at once is actually quite a bit less traumatic for both baby and mom (because its heartbreaking to watch your baby get a shot!). Gets it over with quick!

    You’re looking very adorable these days, btw 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      good to know!
      and thank you for the sweet compliment 🙂
      i think a few shots at a time is totally fine, but there’s one appt (i think it’s the 6 month one?) the requires 9. that seems like a lot to me!

      • Cristina L on November 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

        I agree with you, nine is way too many at once! Watching your child get a shot is heartbreaking but I think you’re making a great choice!

      • Nicole on November 15, 2011 at 12:08 am

        My little guy just turned 6 months and he didn’t get 9 shots. It was more like 2 shots and then an oral vaccine. I too have declined the Hep B vaccine for now — it’s transmitted via blood, so I figure I have time. I also declined the flu shot at his 6 month appt. Where were you reading that they get 9 shots at the 6 month appt? I wonder if the vaccines cover 9 different diseases, but some of them are combo?

      • LJB on November 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

        When your baby does go in for multiple shots, you’ll be happy (I think) to see how nicely they have combined immunizations so that the baby only has to be stuck once or twice, and in that one or two shots, they will be immunized againsts a quite a few different illnesses (I think 3 or 4 now). As a nurse, I am all for vaccinations- I think they are vital in not only preventing illness in your own child, but preventing illness worldwide. I think its great you did your research and are deciding to go with it. As far as cord banking, I don’t know much about… I’ll have to look into it!

      • JennP on November 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

        Oh goodness – nobody would ever stick a baby 9 times in one visit! Many of the vaccines (DTAP, MMR etc) are combination vaccines which cover 3-4 diseases at once. My daughter never got more than 2 shots in one visit (and I only delayed a couple of them).

        • Amelia (Eating Made Easy) on November 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

          My little Lucy got 3 shots and 1 oral vaccine at her 6 month appt, and this was the most she’d gotten because just as you said Jenn, they group the vaccines into fewer shots. This not only reduces the number of times they get stuck, but research shows it also increases the baby’s immune response so they make more effective antibodies.

  4. Amy on November 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    For the youngest two we donated the cord blood to a research facility. Our hospital told us about it. I just had to fill out a questionnaire and have an extra vile of blood drawn.

    • Leslie Wingate on November 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      If we decide that we don’t need it in the bank anymore, can we donate it or does donated blood have to be “fresh”? (ew. lol)

      • Anya on November 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

        As far as I know from the donated banking facility I worked with it has to be “fresh” lol 🙂 but that was at my work so maybe someone else can chime I if they know otherwise?

  5. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks so much for this information! I’ve heard a bit about cord banking but not a lot, and its really interesting to read people’s opinions on it. It does seem like a really hard decision to make! Whatever you and the pilot chose I know it will be the right one for you and baby!

  6. Kat on November 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I work with sick kids, many of whom need stem cell or bone marrow transplants. It’s not always possible for relatives to donate and some kids wind up on a donor list, waiting for a match. A lot of parents wish they had the option of using the child’s own stem cells. If you don’t have a family history of the diseases above your risk factor is pretty low but, as you say yourself, you never know what can happen. God willing, everything will be fine and your child will grow up strong and healthy but I don’t think that the cons outweigh the pros in this particular situation.

  7. Candice on November 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    We decided not to which was a good thing in our case because they tried to get blood from his cord afterwards to test his blood type and they couldn’t get any. He was 2 months premature so not sure if that had anything to do with it.

  8. Danielle on November 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Look at that adorable belly!!! You wear it well!
    We decided not to bank cord blood. I felt very deceived by the cord blood bank companies (there are so few). I felt that they marketed based on fear, when the scientific fact is that banking your cord blood does not necessarily mean you can CURE disorders like were listed. In fact, in many cases, a baby’s own cord blood cannot even be used to address their own disorders, but rather a sibling, and even that is not a definite. We made this decision in collaboration with my OB as well as with input from an oncologist.
    What we did decide to do, was to donate the cord blood to a public bank. Public banking is free, and you basically donate it so that anyone who has the need could potentially tap into it. Though it is less likely that a ‘strangers’ blood could be a match for someone, there is still a possibility, so why wouldnt we try to give that gift.
    In the end, the decision wasn’t our own. I ended up with a C section and the cord actually tore and we lost the cord blood in the OR. Funny how things end up working out.

    Whatever you decide, weigh your options, and do your research with people who know the science behind it and just be aware of the benefits as well as the ‘what ifs’. One of these companies in particular called me literally dozens of times to get us to commit and the whole thing just felt slimy. If you want to know which company please feel free to email me and I will give you the details.

  9. Carlee on November 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for this post; it’s a subject I’m very interested in learning more about. I’m looking forward to reading all of the comments you get!

  10. Marguerite Miller on November 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    They didn’t do cord blood banking when I had my kids! They are both in their 20’s! And if they did, I don’t think i would have done it! I think it is way too expensive for what I would call an “insurance policy”! If I had known of a high family history of the above illnesses Maybe we would have thought differently! The family history of a couple of those listed didn’t appear until after I had my children! If money was no issue, I may have done it, but it isn’t something I really consider a priority! I wouldn’t do it just because it is the “in” thing to do!

  11. Rachel on November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    2 grand in exchange for possiby saving my child’s life in the future = Best. Investment. Ever. No question. If you can afford it, take advantage of medical science, who knows what that cord blood could do 20, 40, or 65 years from now.

    Also, all the “science” surrounding vaccinations causing autism (the number one reason for folks not getting vaccinations) has been thoroughly debunked. Vaccinations save lives.

    Enjoy your babymoon!

  12. Julia on November 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I don’t have any kids (and won’t for several years) so I probably don’t really understand all of the considerations here, but I would bank the cord blood. It doesn’t hurt you or the baby and it could save the baby’s life, or the life of one of your other future children someday. If you don’t feel that you need it, donating it to a public bank could save another child’s life. Basically, my opinion is that it should be collected whether or not you want to keep it for your own baby.

  13. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on November 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    So many important decisions to make as a parent! I’m not sure if I would do the cord blood banking, but I’m like you – I would feel the “what ifs” in the back of my mind!

  14. Emily on November 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I recently saw a feature on The Early Show about cord blood banking. I’ve never had a child, but it definitely seems like a good idea to me!

  15. Megan on November 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    My brother had juvenile leukemia and was lucky enough not to need a bone marrow transplant (juvenile leukemia is generally one of the easier-to-cure cancers, if you catch it early) and my mother-in-law is currently undergoing treatment for stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

    Of course they didn’t bank cord blood when either was a baby, so it wasn’t an option, but from what it sounds like, you don’t even necessarily need a bone marrow transplant from someone else – stem cells from your own blood can be harvested to regrow your bone marrow! My mother-in-law actually met with the stem cell folks in Denver today and I’m really interested to hear what her options are going to be. It’s really amazing, and with massive improvements in stem cell treatments coming along all the time, the cord blood thing seems rather unnecessary.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      amazing info- thank you!
      sending lots of love and healing vibes to your mother-in-law <3

      • Megan on November 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm

        Good luck with your decision! It’s a tough one.

        Thanks! She’s quite the fighter and is doing really well.

  16. Erin on November 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I’d only recently heard of cord blood banking. I was really intrigued, but heard some unfortunate things about it. I’m not anywhere close to having children, so it’s not something I’ve looked into much. I’m sure you’ve done your research on it, but I would at least be cautious of it. I think there is certainly some false advertising going on with the companies. They seem to be taking advantage of the fact that a parent would do anything to help their child, and making a lot of money doing it. I’m sure there is potential for cord blood to be helpful, but I don’t think the science is really there, yet. Especially considering the cord blood might very well have the same disease that a baby could develop.

  17. Angi on November 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    If you decide not to do it, is it possible to look into donating it? I know there have been cases when donor cord blood was used to help treat other sick kids.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      yes, if we decide not to bank it, we’ll most likely donate it.

  18. Katheryn on November 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    We’ve had two kids and one more on the way. We decided not to. There are some risks involved in taking the cord blood, and that mixed into the fact that it is an expensive insurance policy, we didn’t feel it was right for us. Always good to make inform decisions and decide what is best for you and your own. No one plan fits all!

  19. Melanie T on November 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Gina — I just wanted to thank you for choosing to vaccinate your baby and for publicly posting that you will be doing so. The current anti-vaccination kick is incredibly dangerous and based on really shoddy “science.” In fact, all of the “research” claiming that vaccination is dangerous was actually built on fraud and falsified (or totally made-up) data! Those of us in the science community are absolutely dismayed at how many lies are being perpetuated, and the severe negative impact that this movement could have on the population at large. So, thank you for being a voice of reason and for standing on the side of good science. Your baby (and the babies that your child comes into contact with) will be safer and healthier for it!!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      thank you- i’m definitely pro-vaccination. not a fan of the creepy ingredients in some of them, but that’s why it’s important to research and know if other options are available

    • caronae on November 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      I agree 100% Melanie. I really commend Gina for posting (publicly) about her choice to vaccinate. I come from a family of doctors and scientists and have just never understood how non-scientists seem to have such a vested interest in perpetuating the vaccine-autism myth. Science has disproven it time and time again. Vaccines save lives. Period.

      I read some of the earlier comments and I do agree that nine vaccines at one appointment does sound like a lot! The good news is that your baby won’t remember the trauma a year down the road. But it still would hurt to watch your baby in pain!

  20. Hayley on November 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I will…but then again, you know my situation and I have reasons to do it that you don’t necessarily have…Definitely something to think about.

  21. Kristen on November 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I really appreciate you raising this question- it’s so interesting to hear the points of view and to be able to talk about the pros and cons without too much emotion. Hope you’re having fun on the vacay 🙂

  22. Nicole on November 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I had planned to donate by 9 month old’s cord blood when she was born, but I wanted the cord to stop pulsating before it was cut and then collected. We did this and the midwife said there wasn’t any left to donate because it re-entered her blood stream. So all of the “good stuff” went to our little girl. It might help to read up on that before making your decision =)

  23. meagan on November 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    No, we did not bank the blood. We didn’t even have the option to donate, which kind of bummed me out. We decided not to for previous reasons stated–it’s no guarantee by a long stretch and is very expensive. We are also very low risk.

  24. Stephanie on November 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    We spaced out the vacc. Sure it is hard going to more appt. and watching the pain of your sweet baby, but so many shots at once seems like way too much. Of course, you hear all possibilities of autism, but all of the other ingredients in the vacc. Mercury, aluminum maybe in one shot may not be dangerous but all together? We loosely followed the Dr. Sears plan. Better safe than sorry.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      i’m right there with you on that

  25. Kate on November 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    We chose not to do the cord blood banking, because ultimately it was more important to us that our daughter get all of the blood immediately after she was born. We waiting until the cord stopped pulsing before cutting. On the vaccine front we follow Dr. Sears delayed vax sched (minus the flu shot or chicken pox unless she doesn’t get it by 12). I like it because it’s less at ones and if she had a reaction to her shots it would be easier to pinpoint the one responsible. Good luck, you guys will make the right decision whatever you decide!

  26. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on November 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    So interesting…we’ve been thinking a lot about this too. I’m not due until March, so we have a little while to decide, but these big decisions have a way of sneaking up on you pretty quickly!

  27. Jenn on November 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Wow 2k is cheap compared to here, which is like 8k! I’m curious, have you started lactating yet? I’m 27 weeks and started about a week ago, it’s weird!#thingsmomnevermentioned

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      really?! no i haven’t yet.. but keep checking. haha

  28. Brandalyn on November 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    We couldnt afford to bank cord blood, but did you know you can donate it? Wish I would have known that, what a gift that would be to someone.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      that’s very true- we’re also considering donation

  29. Megan on November 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    We did not do cord blood banking, but it certainly is intriguing! We were on the fence as well, but it encouraged me that often times if a child has one of the mentioned illnesses, a sibling’s cord blood may be able to help. So if we run across problems, we may choose to save the next child’s cord blood.

  30. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    We didn’t cord bank for a few reasons…
    The what if’s. I played the “lottery of life” and the small small chance that she’d need it was a powerful just bare bones statistics calculation.

    The cost. More than we had at the time to consider long term banking without making some major sacrifices. We would rather set up a college tuition program than cord blood bank. For us, that was the right call.

    The cord clamping. Have read that they clamp the cord right away in order to bank it, preventing the VERY valuable blood going back into baby; doing this could make baby at an increased risk of low iron issues down the road. Was important to us to get all the blood back into her when she needed is as a newborn, not for the future ‘what if’s’

    So complicated and only you and Tom can do what’s right for your family or anyone who does it…that’s their call and props to them for deciding it was worth it. No easy answers!

  31. Wendy on November 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    We donated cord blood with both of our babies. We’ve actually been called twice for potential matches with my son’s. It makes me feel good that something that would have just been thrown away (we would not have banked it ourselves – not in our budget) has the potential to help other people.

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      that’s an amazing gift <3

  32. Halima on November 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    We saved it for both kids. No one in our family had any of the diseases that we had to worry about but you never know what the future holds. It is like insurance, you have it although you may never need it but if you do need it and dont have it you are going to wish you had it. there is no correct answer and one will never know (hopefully) that your final decision was the wrong one. it was a no brainer for us!

  33. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on November 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    My older brother is a quadrapalegic as a result of a spinal cord injury from a car accident when he was 19. Right now obviously research hasn’t gotten to this point but it is certainly not out of the question that in the not so distant future stem cells will be able to be used to repair things previously unheard of – like spinal cord injuries. And as another commentor said, cancer can happen to anyone at any time.

    Personally, I intend to bank cord blood if/when I ever have kids because you simply just never know. I’d much rather pay out the fees (assuming I could afford them) and have the blood safe and ready for use if needed, then not keep it and have something happen which would really make me wish I had – but obviously it’s different for all couples/families so I’m sure whatever you decide to do will be best for you!

  34. Layla on November 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This is seriously something I’ve never even thought about before! I’m glad you posted about it, because although I’ve heard about, I didn’t really understand what it was or how it was done. We obviously haven’t had kids yet, so haven’t had to think about this….but at least you provided some info for me to consider when the time comes. I honestly don’t know what we would do.

  35. The Healthy Hostess on November 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    We did bank our daughter’s cord blood. We felt like it was an insurance policy that we would hopefully never need to use. But if we did, it would be more valuable than we could ever imagine.
    Another reason was that a close family member could have used their own stem cells if CB banking were available when were born – we just couldn’t say no.
    That is not to say we didn’t do a lot of research because it’s expensive and a little scary. I am sure you guys will make a decision that is perfect for you!

  36. Sarah on November 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Sexiest pregnant belly ever! You are so blessed and wear pregnancy very well 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      thank you, lovely! i’ve really fallen in love with the belly… i’ll miss it

  37. Annette @ with a side of brownies on November 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Because of costs cord banking wasn’t an option for us. As for the shots a few kinds are always mixed so even though the baby needs nine she won’t actually be getting poked nine times, I think four were the max I’ve ever seen my kids get. The only one I’ve ever been hesitant about was the HPV one when my DD turned 11, it was too new, I waited until she was13 and since nothing came up in the news I let her get it. I had no clue what I was
    doing when I had my first child, I think your going a great job of learning all you can before your baby is born 🙂

  38. Colleen on November 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks so much for posting about this — I’m 4 months pregnant with my first, and trying to make many of the same decisions. I sort of feel like I’ve been cheating by reading your blog, because you’ve done so much research already! it is really helping to guide my own investigations, I definitely appreciate you sharing your pregnancy experiences on the blog!

  39. Caroline Walberg on November 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    We ended up banking-my girlfriend works for Cord Blood and the stories I have heard from her are amazing. I pray that we never need it but I would just be devastated if something happened and we should need it and didn’t have it. I realize it is a “huge” what if scenario, but we rested easier knowing we had this option available to us. I do realize that it is an expensive investment and not for everyone! You will make the right decision for your sweet girl and your family 🙂

    And seeing that beautiful belly of yours makes me miss mine! Love your pic 🙂

  40. Heather on November 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I didn’t bank my sons cord blood because I never really had the info or means to do it. I would with the next one though if I had the money. Also with the vaccines, I agree that 9 at a time is way to much. The most my son ever had at once was 4-5 and that was even pushing it. They get pretty sleepy/cranky after them (at least in my sons case.) I also thank you for putting it out there that you are vaccinating. We are so lucky to have the option in this country- there are places in the world that would KILL to get the vaccines that we can for our kids.

  41. Ali on November 15, 2011 at 1:50 am

    All the opinions in the world, at the end of the day you have to go with what feels the most right for you and your little one. Just like you always do, I am sure you will make a choice that feels the best in your gut

  42. Ali on November 15, 2011 at 1:50 am

    All the opinions in the world, at the end of the day you have to go with what feels the most right for you and your little one. Just like you always do, I am sure you will make a choice that feels the best in your gut

  43. Rosa on November 15, 2011 at 3:23 am

    I just wanted to say that, whilst I couldn’t afford to bank my 10-month olds cord blood, I donated his cord blood to the hospital. Which is free!! That way I hope that we can maybe help some other family out there and, in turn, hope that the favour may be returned if we ever need it.

  44. Lisa on November 15, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I think this is probably not relevant to you at all, but because I randomly saw it yesterday and it’s about this topic, I thought I’d share just in case it gave you any insight or perspective…
    I’m sure that whatever you decide to do will be the right thing–it seems like you and Tom have a very grounded perspective on things!

  45. Annalisa on November 15, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I didn’t read the comments above but when we looked into cord blood banking for our 6 mo. baby girl it was WAY EXPENSIVE. I remember something like the initial $300 plus so much per month/year. I also remember the fine print saying that when you access the cord blood, you might not get yours but a similar match. There were so many cons (no pun intended) and too many benefits to letting the cord finishing pulsating that we didn’t pursue the banking. Actually, I think after my daughter came out, I think she hung out attached to the placenta for a while – like 15 mins? – we just snuggled. It was amazing. I couldn’t imagine someone trying to quickly clamp the cord during that time – it would have totally intruded on our experience in hindsight.

  46. Heather on November 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Does your hospital offer free cord blood banking? It goes into a public bank. I think that’s what we’re going to do since we don’t have family history of those things. I feel like it’s doing something good for people who really need it. Plus it’s good karma. 😉

  47. kayleigh on November 15, 2011 at 8:21 am

    i just wanted to put my opinion in. my nephew, who is 3 years old, has been struggling with his immune system for almost his whole life. he goes to specialists either once a month of once every three months and they do numerous blood tests, etc. so far, they haven’t been able to figure out why he keeps getting infections and is always sick, but one of the things they’re trying to rule out right now is leukemia. nobody in my (and my brother’s) side of the family or my sister-in-law’s side of the family has any history with cancer and this came up as a huge surprise, so i think if it is affordable for you guys, it’s worth having it just in case. my nephew didn’t get his cord blood stored and may have needed that to save his life. ultimately it’s your decision and nobody should affect how you guys make your decisions, good luck to you guys though!! and you totally work the belly 🙂

  48. Amanda on November 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hi Gina! I love your blog, and this is my first time commenting (wahoo!)! The subject of cord banking is near and dear to my heart; I am a pediatric hematologist-oncologist specializing in bone marrow failure diseases, which are exceptionally rare but often require a bone marrow transplant to cure. What you have written above about indications for banking is absolutely correct. It would be highly, highly recommended to bank the cord if the child would have a family history of any of the diseases listed above, but it is otherwise nearly impossible to predict any of the child’s “other” potential risk factors. (Very well done research!) One important note though – among family members, only siblings can be matches to one another for bone marrow transplant purposes. This is a bit different from other organ transplants, where many different family members could be matches to the patient. Unless the parents are somehow related to one another, parents and other family members typically cannot be bone marrow matches to their child.

    It is important to know that every disease listed above is a “rare” disease, even though it seems like cancer in particular is highly publicized as being on the rise. None of the above are anywhere near common diagnoses, but, as you said, there is never a way to tell what the future holds. I always have to recommend banking to families, since it could not only safe your child or their siblings’ life, but another life as well. I cannot tell you the number of transplants I have overseen that have used cords as the stem cell source; it is a purer source of stem cells, and having a matched cord significantly reduces the incidence of transplant-associated side effects. More than anything, the massive relief it brings to families when they are told that one of their child’s cords is a match (or that someone else’s banked cord is a match) is such an incredible gift to families who are already struggling through so much.

    Regardless of your decision, from reading your blog I think that you and Tom will be wonderful parents, and you are going to have so much fun! Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy – you look beautiful!!

  49. Katelyn on November 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Hi Gina,
    I know people have already posted about donating the cord blood so someone else could benefit from it, but I believe there are deadlines that you have to meet if you decide to go that route. I’m not 100% positive, but I think for me we had to have all the paperwork in by 36 weeks…and I know you are fast approaching that time. Also, the nurses and doctors at the hospitals didn’t do the collection where I was, and if we were going to donate to a public bank, they would not collect on weekends or late at night…just something to look into in your area. Hope this info helps.

  50. Kate on November 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Here was our thoughts on cord blood:
    At first I though of course we’ll do it! But then I found some literature that wasn’t put out by cord blood banking companies and realized like it seems you have, that although it does have great life saving potential, without genetic risk, there are other ways to get the same level of care to a sick child without cord banking. There is no guarantee that the cord blood harvested will be viable in 7 or 10 years, let alone a year later. Wasting thousands of dollars and then hundreds a year storing it seems like a waste when you don’t know if the cord blood is viable. Our state (NJ) has a public cord blood system available to residents, the hospital I will deliver at does not participate (boo!) so I plan to make sure all the cord blood gets to baby before they cut the cord so that goodness isn’t wasted. But if my hospital participated I would definitely be donating to the public bank.
    Good luck with your decision. Which ever you decided it will be the right one for you family! Enjoy San Diego. I am jealous!

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