Read any pregnancy magazine and you’ll see it, that huge 4 page ad for Viacord and maybe another for CBR too. Has it occurred to you yet that these companies are making quite a profit on private cord blood banking? Because, let me tell you, those ads are NOT cheap!!! Well, they are making a killing. Parents pay $1500 – 2000 to have their child’s cord blood collected and another $100 per year to keep it in storage for use at their discretion.
Many parents don’t have a spare $2000 when baby is born, so why are they banking cord blood? I think it’s the angle these companies take. Banking that cord blood is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy a precious substance that might save the life of one that you love. Given parent’s intense feelings of protectiveness at the time of pregnancy and birth, it’s no wonder many feel compelled to private banking.
It’s true that cord blood can be used to treat many diseases, and it’s true that in the future it may become even more useful as science advances. It’s also true that a parent or sibling is more likely to be a match to that new baby than anyone else, but does that really mean that private banking is the answer? I say, “NO”!
Did you know that there are public, not-for-profit cord blood banks? These organizations are taking cord blood donations and making them available to those in need NOW. If everyone used public cord blood banks, we could save lives today, while at the same time making it likely that in 2050 some new baby’s cord blood will be available should the need arise in your family. It’s much more efficient to see that cord blood used this year, instead of saving it for 50 years for some unkown, possibly non-existent use. Unfortunately, public cord blood banks are not available everywhere. But, if we start asking for them and stop private banking, they will be available in time.
In my opinion, private cord blood banking is not the right choice for a healthy family with no forseeable need for that blood. I suggest parent’s use that $2000 to eat healthy, make non-toxic lifestyle choices and pursue good health today. Give away that cord blood, just as you would give away your blood to the Red Cross, and help someone who needs it now.