Should you keep your kid's umbilical cord blood?

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

Should you bank your baby's umbilical cord blood in case of future illness? It's apparently all the rage amongst high-class clientele -- who can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 to get started.

In short, the answer is "probably not." According to pediatricians, it's unlikely that you'll need this kind of biological insurance (the odds are estimated between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 200,000), and by donating your baby's cord blood, you could save someone else's life.

Umbilical cord blood is sought after because it's full of stem cells. These are useful in a similar way to bone-marrow -- the transplanting of which can help people fight cancer, and other diseases. However, because stem cells from cord blood are younger, they're easier to transplant into non-relatives, and can be thawed more quickly than bone-marrow.

On the other hand, guidelines published last month by the American Academy of Pediatrics say that parents should consider privately banking their child's cord blood if an older sibling has cancer, or certain genetic diseases that cord blood has been proven to treat.

I didn't even know about this when my daughter was born. Is this something any of you have come across? Any readers who have privately banked their baby's cord blood?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.