Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central for the Cord Blood Registry. I received promotional item to thank me for my participation.
For me, when we were preparing for our first child, it was a very stressful time, making the adjustment from being the center of my wife's attention to sharing it with our future child. I read blogs, websites, and other articles about being a good father and parent. There's a lot of information out there and, to be honest, it was overwhelming. I remember seeing advertisements in magazines about cord blood banking, but I really didn't think much about it.
When we became pregnant with our second child several years later, the information on cord blood banking had become more prevalent, but we never really discussed it with our doctors or the hospital. My feeling is that there are a lot of great benefits that could potentially be realized if cord blood banking was done. Sometimes, I wonder if we should have explored cord blood banking more or if its really no big deal. I mean, I don't think there was any such thing when I was born 34 years ago and I turned out pretty good.
I will say that I don't remember the doctors ever offering information or suggesting cord blood banking to us. Maybe if a medical professional had discussed it with us, I would have considered it more seriously. I think the financial commitment would also be a hindrance to our family actually moving forward with banking cord blood.
Benefits of Cord Blood
Cord blood contains stem cells that can't be obtained in the normal ways. Often, stem cells are derived from bone marrow or other blood in the body. Cord blood is readily available and causes absolutely no harm to the baby or mother when it is collected after birth. In the last 25 years, stem cells from cord blood have been used in over 30,000 transplants to treat around 80 diseases in adults and children. Clinical trials are finding potential to repair damaged and diseased organs.
There are also clinical trials evaluating the use of cord blood stem cells for treatment of conditions like autism, cerebral palsy, and brain injuries. By banking a child's cord blood, there's always a match to the child's stem cells. This means there's no need to go through the public banking system to try to find a match.
Family Cord Blood Banking Act
The Family Cord Blood Banking Act was recently introduced in the U.S. Congress. This act looks to make cord blood banking a qualified medical expense. This could allow those looking to bank cord blood to apply tax-advantaged health funds toward the collection, processing, and storage of these stem cells. The Cord Blood Registry (CBR) supports this act in Congress because it makes cord blood banking more affordable for American families.
Anyone can visit cordbankingbasics.com to receive a $200 discount on banking a newborn's umbilical cord blood with Cord Blood Registry. The discount code is good through March 24, 2014.