Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Hot Topic: Private Cord Blood Banking? January 4, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 8:57 pm
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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.

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7 Responses to “Hot Topic: Private Cord Blood Banking?”

  1. Dan Says:

    The cost to you to procure a sample from a public cord blood bank is approximtely 23,000, its not free. The average cost for a public cord blood bank to process a sample is approximately 1200 so the profits you mention are not that high considering the costs to open and operate a licensed biologics facility. They are regulated by state health departments and must comply with many laws governing the productiong of biologics.

  2. Anne Says:

    There are very few opportunities for parents to donate to public cord blood banks. Public banks are required to be affiliated with individual hospitals and there are very few hospitals. If it is really important to parents to donate their cord blood, they need to decide before they even get pregnant so they can identify an obstetrician who has privileges at a hospital that is affiliated with a public bank.

  3. Allyssa Says:

    Our decision to bank our child’s cord blood was based on the statistics related to mix-race children. Mixed-race children have significantly less probability that they will have a match with blood from a public bank. I think you have to do what is right for your child. In addition, we did not have the public bank option available in our area. I think you have to make the best decision for your family.

  4. […] Hot Topic: Private Cord Blood Banking? « Euphoria’s Blog for Green … […]

  5. Rachel Says:

    Allyssa, You raise a very good point. It is absolutely true that all parenting decisions have to be made with our unique circumstances in mind. Thanks for sharing!

    My goal in posting this was to encourage parents to think about alternatives to private banking. I feel that the relentless cord blood banking ad campaigns make parents feel that private banking is the only responsible choice. Cord blood banks even buy “advertorials” in magazines (which are paid or indirectly sponsored articles that appear like unbiased content) to further advance their message. I think we need to see someone representing the other side, so to speak.

  6. drtimmers Says:

    We did extensive research on banking and decided it was well worth the money. God forbid if we ever needed it and we hadn’t taken the opportunity when it was here.

    You can save $250 of Cord Blood Banking with CBR, http://www.CordBlood.com with Coupon Code M1971

  7. smariner Says:

    After a lot of debate between private banking vs donation (and between CBR vs ViaCord), we decided to with CBR. We got a discount of $650 using the coupon code MANGO. Check out http://cbregistry.blogspot.com/2009/02/discount-of-upto-650-when-enrolling.html for more details.


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