By now you have all heard about how cord blood could potentially help your child in treating cancer, sickle-cell anemia, marrow failure and certain genetic diseases. You can’t pick up a pregnancy magazine without spotting an ad for cord blood banking. Most pregnant women need little convincing and are ready to sign up until… wait, the cost! Approximately $2,000 for initial processing and about $125 per year after that to store the cord blood in a personal bank incase it is ever needed. The benefits minus the cost really make women debate, do more research, discuss with their husbands and ask the opinion of close friends.
Now there is another option that may not be presented by your OB doctor. You can donate your baby’s cord blood to a public bank. Unlike private banks, public banks make their contents available to anyone who qualifies as a match. Cord blood therapies do not require a perfect match. There are only 19 public banks in the U.S. and until recently there was no program available for women to donate. Just this year, a new Federal program is underway to help women anywhere in the U.S. to donate their cord blood into the Be the Match, the national cord-blood registry. Moms-to-be request a free collection kit and it cost moms nothing to donate. It still costs about $2,500 for processing and storage but this expense is being split by the government and participating banks. Whenever matches are made, the banks are paid by recipients or their insurance companies. Just like donating blood or being listed as an organ donor, giving your cord blood is another way to save a life. As of May 2010, we have a new, cost free answer to the bank it or toss is debate: donate.
Watch a video and read more at www.time.com/cord_blood. Also, ask your OB for a brochure on donating.
Jenny M. lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and has two beautiful and active little ones (two under the age of three with one on the way.) She has best husband she could imagine who works hard and fully engages with his family when he is home. She spent a decade as a single woman in a fast-paced career that gave her opportunities to travel the world, speak and work with the hearts and minds of university students. Now, she is always working on slowing down, trying to simplify, laugh, discover, love God, her life and her family. You can find her blog at www.porchswingmom.com