Many different medical conditions arise in children each year, creating a need for things like bone marrow and blood. With so many different medical illnesses that could arise, there is a need for a new way to treat a patient. Umbilical cord blood is similar to all blood in that it has white blood cells, red blood cells and plasma. Umbilical cord blood storage is a way you can help protect your child against future medical conditions and is becoming a more viable option for treating various medical conditions. Choosing to store umbilical cord blood in a blood bank can be a very hard choice and depending on many factors such as religion or financial status it could be the right choice for you. If you do not know very much about umbilical cord blood and the storing of this blood for later possible use, here are some positive and negative things concerning it.
If you are trying to figure out whether or not storing umbilical cord blood is the right decision for you, the first thing you need to look at is the possible cost. The cost of storing umbilical cord blood is one of the very big negative aspects of this new medical treatment. Usually the cost of storing umbilical cord blood at a blood bank starts out with about $2,000 needed for the collection kit and the verification certificate of cord blood banking. You can sign up for this kit during your pregnancy and it will be sent either to you directly or to your doctor during the time you will give birth. The $2,000 is only part of what it costs to pay for the storage of umbilical cord blood. After you spend that money just on the kit and certificate, you then have to pay about $200 each year for the storage at the blood bank. If you pay the yearly average upfront for about 18 years then you can get a small discount and if you have multiple children you might also get a small discount. So you are going to be spending about $2,500 the first year of cord blood banking and then about $200 each year after that. This can go well into the $10,000 mark very fast if you add up each year you are paying for the storage of the umbilical cord blood. The money is more the deterrent than anything else especially in this economy when you are not sure if you will have a job by tomorrow.
Another con to umbilical cord blood banking is the cord blood might not get used. This can be a positive but also can be a negative because you might be spending money for nothing. If your child got a disease like leukemia at a very young age, there is a chance that the auto-immune disease is within the cord blood rendering it pretty much useless. You would have to get the cord blood from another source and this is kind of a drawback of storing the umbilical cord blood. Another way to look at the possible waste of cord blood banking is to think about the chances of your child getting a serious medical illness. Sure, not having to use the cord blood is good because this means your child is healthy, but it also means you are spending money every year for the blood to be stored. If you are someone who is barely making ends meet as it is, and you go all out to make sure you can store the umbilical cord blood, you might feel like this was money that should have been spent elsewhere. The thought of not using the cord blood you have stored is a catch-22 so it depends on how you feel about possibly wasting your money for 18 years or possibly having a cure for your child if they come down with an illness or disease.
If you choose to go through with storing umbilical cord blood at a blood bank, there are many positives to this for both your child and other people. If you do not wish to store the umbilical cord blood for yourself, you can choose to donate the umbilical cord blood to a a larger facility or hospital. Your donation can help some other child later on down the road who might need a blood match or something due to an illness. The thing with donating the umbilical cord blood is that as the mother, you need to meet certain health criteria and pass specific standards health-wise to qualify. This is a good thing though regarding umbilical cord blood banking because even if you choose to not do this for your child, another child could benefit from the cord blood and it might save their life.
Umbilical cord blood banking is one of those things where you can only do it once so you need to have your mind made up. This can be considered a positive aspect or negative aspect of umbilical cord blood banking depending how much of a decision maker you are. Since umbilical cord blood banking occurs right after birth through the use of the blood in the umbilical cord, you do not have a lot of time to decide on whether this is an appropriate option for you or your child. By the time you are seven months pregnant you really should have already decided on whether you will be using cord blood banking and this can be a hard decision for some people. Whether you have certain religious beliefs that might infringe on this medical option or you are unsure of the safety of the storage of the umbilical cord blood, the decision is going to be up to you.
A really good aspect of storing umbilical cord blood is the fact if your child becomes sick with something like anemia, their own stem cells can be used to treat them. Many different infections and medical diseases can be treated using umbilical cord blood and using the cord blood from your child for your child will help cut down the risks associated with foreign stem cells. Sometimes the body will reject a stem cell due to the fact it is not coming from the person it is being put in and this is eliminated with using cord blood from your baby. Later in life if a serious illness strikes your child, they can go back to the blood bank and use their own umbilical cord blood to raise the hopes of a successful treatment. Graft versus host disease is the disease in which cells used to treat someone that are not from their own body and the body begins to attack the new cells. This disease can be life-threatening and fatal so you can eliminate the risk by using your own cord blood.
Other people in your family can also use the stored umbilical cord blood which is another great thing about cord blood banking. Auto-immune diseases and other illnesses can be fatal but by storing the cord blood someone in your family might have a more decent chance of beating the illness. Although there is a slight risk of developing graft versus host disease by it not being their own stem cells, the chances are small because it is a close relative whose cells they are using. If you choose to store umbilical cord blood for one child and then later decide to have another child and something is wrong with your second child, this is a good way to ensure a potential life-saving treatment.
Another great aspect of storing umbilical cord blood is there is no pain. The blood is taken from the umbilical cord after birth so there is no harm or pain to either the baby or the mother. Knowing your baby will not be harmed or in pain can make making the decision to store cord blood easier for some women. It can also make you less worrisome about potential medical illnesses that could happen. If you know you have umbilical cord blood stored away, you rest a little easier knowing there is a medical treatment within your grasp if needed.
So all together umbilical cord blood banking could be a very positive option to check into. If you are not someone who has a lot of money though at the current moment, this might not be the best thing to do unless you can find some financial help. As with all medical treatments and options available, you need to talk to your doctor for specific information and how it relates to you. This is just one of many options available out there to help take the worries away from you when it comes to your child possibly getting sick. No one however is informed to make decisions for your family besides you and this is a big decision that you need to consider and read information about before determining which way you want to go. Umbilical cord banking can save a life but as with everything there are always things you need to talk about with your doctor before making this determination for you or your family.