I Said YES to Cord Blood and Tissue Banking
This was a big discussion in our household over the last year and although we did not do this with Harper, we opted to bank baby #2’s cord blood and cord tissue. To be honest, I really didn’t know much about the benefits of banking 5 years ago, which is why we hadn’t gone this route with Harper. However, this time around, Americord had recently launched here in Canada and I was given the opportunity to have a more thorough discussion with experts at Americord about the benefits. As a result, there was no doubt in my mind than to say YES to cord blood and tissue banking.
If you are expecting I am sure you are asking yourself this question. I was the same. It’s a big decision and many parents wonder if it’s worth it. Some families choose banking based on family history and others choose it simply for peace of mind. For us, after a lot of health complications we faced throughout the pregnancy, we felt it was the best thing to do to ensure our child’s future health and well-being.
That being said, even though we did not bank Harper’s cord blood, we were informed that there is a 50% chance that the cord blood and tissue we are storing from Baby #2 is a match for her as well. Personally, my husband and I could not put a price tag on these reasons! For more information on how your baby’s cord blood can help treat a sibling, click here.
Although all these benefits seem so distant (and outright scary to think about today), making the decision to save our child’s stem cells felt like a solid investment toward our whole family’s future health.
The Basics and The Benefits
Without going too deep into the details, when you decide to bank cord blood, which is the blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta of your new bundle of joy, you are able to collect and preserve stem cells that can be used for research and treatments later on.
When I learned about some of the research happening today, I was literally blown away. For instance, tissue and blood from the umbilical cord are currently being studied in the treatment of cerebral palsy, autism, and Type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, we know cord blood stem cells are also being successfully used to treat over 80 different diseases, including leukemia. For more info on the facts, benefits and uses of cord blood and tissue click here.
Make an Informed Choice
I know all the information can be pretty overwhelming especially while pregnant. As mothers, we are dealing with a lot of appointments, decisions, day-to-day errands and not to mention, pregnancy hormones. I was an emotional wreck almost the whole time! My advice when it comes to making up your mind about whether or not to bank your baby’s cord blood and tissue is to take your time doing research and speak to friends and family who have been in your shoes.
Also, make sure when you are looking into cord blood banking companies you always read the fine print. One example might be around storage fees, as some companies may not clearly indicate that there is an annual storage fee above and beyond the initial cord blood and/or cord tissue storage. In Americord’s price, 20 years of storage are included and there are never any hidden fees. To get a list of questions that you should be asking yourself when deciding what cord blood bank to go with, here is a great article to read.
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Cord blood and tissue banking is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity that is only available at the time of your baby’s birth. When I decided to partner with Americord it was because I felt it was truly important to help spread this message. I wish I had known a little bit more about this topic prior to Harper’s birth. The individuals at Americord have been so supportive throughout the whole process answering every question I had and providing resources to help me learn more. I was confident in my decision to go with Americord to bank our baby’s cord blood and tissue.
I realize it is a big decision and the cost can be daunting for most parents. I know it was for us! The way we looked at it was that often costs to fight certain diseases could go well beyond thousands of dollars over time. We weighed the potential return on the investment to bank baby #2’s cord blood and tissue in terms of cost and peace of mind and still felt it would be worth every penny if it could help save the life of a loved one.