Cord Blood Banking

I am 16wks pregnant now and really considering banking the babies cord blood. Has anybody else done this or thought about it, researched at all? I was just hoping to get some insite and ideas about this… I was also curious about the financial aspect of it all.

Hi Alicia,
I am an OB doctor. Most of our patients do NOT bank the blood. The utility of the blood is less than the companies who bank it would like you to believe. In 17 years of doing OB, I’ve never had a patient who actually used the banked blood. There are fees for collecting and storing that can run into the low thousands over the lifetime of the blood. The companies speak of childhood cancers as if they were VERY common, which they are not. They make a claim that as high as 1/8 will use the blood. If that were true, our children would have many friends with cancer. Think about how many kids with cancer you’ve known in your lifetime? If money was no object, there is no down side to saving the blood, but for most people, financial costs are an issue. I was a poor medical student and resident in my pregnancies, so I could not afford to do it then. Food and diapers were the priority.
That being said, I do think there are times when banking the blood would be worth it. For type one diabetics, I would recommend it. The way research is going with stem cells, maybe those cells could be useful to YOU or your child who may develop diabetes in the future. Also,if any of your family members have had a leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cell cancer or blood disease, I would save the cells. There is a real possibilty of a need for the cells in the future. If you have the financial means, you should do it. The Cord Blood Registry has been around the longest and is the agency we recommend to our patients. I hope this helps you :slight_smile:

I think it’s a scam, personally. I was really interested and one company nearly had me on the hook, but the private banking is ridiculously expensive considering the limited number of children and illnesses that could benefit from it. You are unlikely to be able to use your own child’s cord blood in the event of most illnesses because the cord blood might have the same genetic flaws, for one. For another, the shelf life is only about 10 years once you begin the expensive annual storage fees. So it’s not going to help your child when they’re 17 and develop an illness.

I looked into public banking, which is free and used for research, etc. I started to get excited about it until I found out that in Texas that there is no way they will accept a type 1 diabetic’s donation. sigh So we didn’t do it.

I am 24 weeks pregnant and also trying to decide what to do about cord blood banking. My high-risk OB said he thought it was not really necessary, which shocked me, but the more I hear about it, I’m starting to think he might be right. He basically echoed what Melissa says here.

He is pulling together some info for me that he will give me at my next appointment so that my husband and I can make an informed decision.

I posted my concerns about cord blood banking in a recent blog post and there were some good comments from my readers:

I will post in my blog about my final decision, but I’ll also try to remember to post it here in this thread.

I’m looking forward to hearing what others think of cord blood banking and what decisions they made.

Wow … so we cannot donate if we are a Type 1 diabetic? That answers my questions about trying to do it, too.

Thank you all for your replies…I still have a lot to think about. It was interesting to hear that Texas won’t even accept if you are Type 1, I’ll have to look into NY laws on this. Thanks again!

I have first hand experience with stem cells and type 1 diabetes. My son was diagnosed with type 1 when he was 9 years old. As with almost everyone I have seen on this sight, it was a shock to us and we started researching this disease. We found a study at the University of Florida where they were infusing stem cells in recently diagnosed type 1 diabetics. Our stored cells were well in excess of the requirements for the study in terms of quality and quantity (even though they had been stored for 9 years. They were also stored in Toronto where my son was born even though we now live in Florida). Long story short, my son was infused 2 months to the day after diagnosis.

The results have been amazing. My son, 3 years later, is still in his honeymoon phase. His A1c’s are below 7, and he is still producing insulin. This is amazing from our perspective and our son has been interviewed twice on evening news “Medical minutes” based on the success of this program.

It is unfortunate that there is so much negative press and emotion about stem cell storage. Babies are not killed, it is your own stem cells that are stored, The process is painless and we were fortunate to be able to get a substantial amount extracted at birth. Yes, there is a cost associated with the process and there are annual storage costs, but in my opinion, this is only slightly different than an insurance policy. It is also unfortunate that the main use of stem cell is perceived to be for cancer patients. This technology is used in a wide variety of patients, including cerebral palsy.

I admit to being a huge fan of stem cell storage, however, I have seen the benefits. I can talk about this all day…


Have your son’s insulin needs stayed the same since the infusion, or is he still losing his beta cells, just at a slower rate? My OB said that the process you describe rarely works for more than a couple of years, so I am interested in your experience.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Since infusion, my son’s insulin requirements have dramatically reduced, by about 1/3. Even though he is growing, his insulin requirements continue to reduce. At our last endo visit, it was recommended that the insulin be reduced again since the Dr. was concerned about all of the lows he was experiencing.

The theory is that he is no longer losing beta cells as the antibodies have been effectively stopped, or significantly reduced (we do not know for absolute certainty). Since this study is relatively new (commenced in 2007) I am surprised that your OB would have an opinion. As I understand it, the specific study that we were involved in is still going on. That being said, my son is one of the better performers in the study and has gained some recognition and interest in the medical community for his success.

This is fascinating, thanks to everyone for sharing. I have a bunch to look into. :slight_smile:

Another good (and objective) resource is You can compare prices and it’s an independent website.

A cordblood rep (one of the major companies) was in my office this week and brought data on 2 patients with type one who were cured with their own cord blood at MD Anderson in Texas. Transplants were done in the past 2 years, so it’s not a long time of followup, but I was impressed with the data. She had a log of all transplants done for all reason, and interestingly, of all the thousands of samples they stored in the past ten years, only 51 were actually used.

Michele, that is very interesting! I have been type 1 for 19yrs now so I’m not sure how well a transplant would work…usually that stuff works on the newly diagnosed, right? I think I am leaning towards doing this though…only good can come from it :0) I just have to chose the company now. Thanks!!

That is remarkable. Although I am a strong proponent of stem cell storage and I have first hand (and in my opinion successful) experience with an infusion, I have never heard of this therapy being a cure. Even the study that we were involved in, they were very careful to warn us that although we would experience promising results, it was not a cure. If what the facility says is true, you may want to press for details to confirm an actual cure for which there is no known cure,

If it is a cure though… who knows?

It’ll definitely be interesting to watch. I’m always a bit skeptical about results offered by the for-profit company! But I’ll be following it…

I just posted about the University of Florida Study (and my thoughts) on my blog.

Brian - I hope you don’t mind that I referred to you and this thread in the piece.

I am still on the fence about whether to actually bank the blood … it’s such a tough decision!

Here is the link if you are interested. I’m hoping the post will generate some good comments that will help me make a decision!

Your research is very thorough and well thought out. I hope that you are able to come to the decision that is right for you. Please feel free to reference me in this or any other discussion associated with cord blood. As you know, I am a big fan of the therapy, and as you pointed out, possibly elated over results due to my son’s success.

That being said though, cord blood may be valuable in other research areas. There are advances in treating certain cancers as well as cerebral palsy. Also, seeing where the technology is progressing, we really can’t be sure what the future holds. I recall thinking at the time that we initially viewed the cost as an insurance policy.

Good luck with your research and I sincerely hope you find the answer that works for you.

Hi, I used CBR (cord blood registry) when i had my second child, he is now almost 4 years old. when i had my first child who is now 7 i didn’t know about it. I do wish i have done it with my first child though. CBR charged me around $900.00 dollars at the time, which included my doctor’s fee. Perinatologist has suggested the cord blood banking, he simply said you might consider since you have diabetes and my nationality is so mixed he felt that it was important to save the cord blood in case. I pay around $150.00 a year now and i am really glad i did. CBR is in Arizona, thats where they store it, which is great because i am in southern calif. where yes we have earthquakes.

For all the moms out there considering cord blood banking, I invite you to hear my little girls story.

Our little girl Chloe was born a perfect, beautiful bundle of joy. Right before she was born we made the decision to bank her cord blood, never ever believing that we would use it.

The first nine months of her little life were awesome. Then we began to notice that she was not meeting those ever precious milestones, one being she couldnt hold her bottle. Her right hand was always in a very tight fist, she hated tummy time and when it came time for her to crawl, she would sit on her butt and drag he right leg behind her.

At her 12 month check up, the doctor ordered a CT scan…it was then that we learned our little girl had suffered a stroke before she was born. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Our world came crashing down around us. No one could tell us what her life would be like. If she would walk , talk, ride a bike. We were told that she could be paralyzed on her right side for the rest of her life.

A short time later, through cord blood registry, we learned of a study being done with cord blood. They were reinfusing these little kiddos with their own cord blood in an attempt to reverse the effects of cerebral palsy.

On May 27th, 2007 Chloe recieved a reinfusion of her cord blood stem cells. I am happy to tell you all that because of her cord blood she has regained full use of her right side, is developmentaly right on target, mained streamed in preschool, and best of all looks and acts like every other little kid on the playground. She rides her bike, skis, runs and jumps, just to name a few. I invite you all to visit to see what life was like for her before reinfusion and where she is today.

I know the cost for privately banking cord blood can be to much for some, it was hard for us as well. I invite you all to visit the links below and educate yourself on cor blood banking. Through cbr they have a great gift registry as well as pymnt plans for as little as $48/month. It just maybe more affordable then you ever thought.

I wish we all had a crystal ball to tell us nothing would ever happen to our children, we were sure that it couldnt and would not happen to us…and it did. You have to be prepared in every way possible to protect your family, you will never be sorry that you banked cord blood, that I can guaranty!
I wish each and everyone the best of luck, and before you make that final decision, please take the time to really do your research, it could save you childs life one day…it saved our little girl

That is a wonderful story. There are tremendous strides being made in this area and yes there is a cost involved, but in the grand scheme of things, the decision really has to do with your child. Remarkable results such as yours convince me even more that storing cord blood is a no brainer. Even if you never end up using them, they are a magical resource that can be used to a lesser degree with siblings.

I hope Cloe continues to develop in a positive manner and I am thankful that you shared with us.