Is Cord Blood Banking Right For Me?
Cord blood banking is a brilliant medical advancement and it certainly can help people who would otherwise have remained very sick, or have died. With that said, it is still not necessarily something that every couple decides that they need. How can you figure out if cord blood banking is right for you? How can you weigh the cost of banking to the potential life-saving advantages? Here, we explore these questions and try to help you to evaluate, for yourself, whether or not banking is right for you.
Sleep Well with Your Decision
Certainly, if you have the expendable income and you want to cord blood bank, go ahead and do so. If it will give you peace of mind, and the money isn't an issue, then you should definitely do cord blood banking. Even if the money is an issue, but you can find that extra cash, and it will make a big difference in your peace of mind - go ahead and do cord blood banking. However, if you don't have any of the following risk factors explained below, the chances of needing the cord blood are quite slim. You may still decide that peace of mind is worth the small price - and this is a decision you'll have to make for yourself.
The AAP gives a recommendation that cord blood banking is a good decision for people who have a higher than normal chance of needing a bone marrow transplant. If you already have a sick family member who could benefit from a stem cell transplant, or if you have a history of disease in your family, cord blood banking may be a good precaution. If you have a family history of major illness, it may be a good idea to have cord blood stored, in case someone needs stem cells for a transplant in the future.
Some people have an easy time finding a match if they need a bone marrow transplant, and others have a tricky time of this. People who are hard to match include those who are in an ethnic or racial minority, and those who conceived using IVF. The idea for these people is that it's worth it to store cord blood, with the safety net of later use. This is like creating an insurance policy, so that you'll have this cord blood if a future child needs a match.
Some people like the idea that cord blood might, at some point, be used for other things as well. Scientists are constantly trying to find more uses for stem cells, and some people store cord blood with the hope that there will be more opportunities for it in the future. If you are a believer in the potential, and you want to store cord blood for this reason, it's certainly a possibility that it will be useful for other medical breakthroughs later on down the road.
One thing that many cord blood banks do is play on parent's fears and guilt. They want you to feel that you wouldn't be serving your child well as a parent if you don't store cord blood. This is simply not true. If you fall into one of the categories above, then perhaps you'll want to use a cord blood bank. If you don't, then the chances of your using the cord blood are quite small. You should evaluate all of your options based on your personality, family history and needs and come to an educated conclusion that is right for you, your partner and your future family.