During pregnancy, expecting moms and dads-to be are faced with many crucial decisions that will affect their children’s future. One thing that many expecting parents don’t consider, however, is banking their children’s cord blood, a precaution that has the potential to save their child’s life someday.
For ten years, cord blood has been a widely applicable treatment option for over 75 different blood diseases, including anemia, leukemia and lymphoma. A cord blood unit can be used to replace damaged or diseased blood cells with healthy stem cells, often helping leukemia patients to recover from extensive chemotherapy.
Today, researchers are also working on ways to use cord blood stem cells to treat brain injuries and degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
The first option for parents who are considering this option is the public cord blood bank, to which a child’s cord blood can be donated for free. While the unit will become available to the first child who is a match, the donor child will also be eligible for a unit from the public bank should they ever fall ill.
The next option requires parents to pay to have their cord blood bank privately. This way, the cord blood is stored until the donor child or a family member falls ill. Although this option can be expensive, it acts as a secure form of insurance for your child’s health. Additionally, many private banks now offer payment plans for parents that cannot afford to pay for the service at one time.