Saving your baby’s umbilical cord blood can be a truly life-saving decision but it can also be an expensive one. The price of cord blood banking has many soon-to-be parents wondering if it is truly worth the investment. However, as stem cell research advances, more and more parents are taking a deeper look into cord blood banking and the long-term possibilities and they’re weighing the costs and benefits of whether an investment in cord blood banking makes sense for their family.
What is cord blood?
Umbilical cord blood (commonly called cord blood) is the blood that remains inside of the umbilical cord and placenta after your baby is born and the cord has been clamped and cut. The umbilical cord is the cord that connects your baby to the placenta. The placenta grows in your uterus (womb) and supplies your baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
Why is cord blood so valuable?
Umbilical cord blood contains an abundant supply of stem cells. These are cells that can grow into specific kinds of cells in your body. Stem cells are currently used to treat a variety of diseases including forms of cancer, blood disorders, autoimmune disorders, and metabolic disorders. In fact, there are over 80 diseases and conditions that are FDA-approved for routine treatment with cord blood stem cells.
In addition, a tremendous amount of research is underway exploring the ability to use stem cells to help a variety of other conditions such as brain injuries, cerebral palsy, autism, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, liver disease, and others. It is important to note that much of this research is still in the clinical trial phase but promising advances are being made on a daily basis.
Why are the costs of cord blood banking so high?
While there are cord blood banking payment plans available, one of the biggest deterrents to cord blood banking is the cost. The price of cord blood banking can run as much as $4,000 over the course of 20 years, and if you want to also bank the umbilical cord tissue the costs can often be in the neighborhood of $8,000 over the 20 year period. This is certainly a large financial investment for most families, but if done right you’re getting a lot of value for your money.
When we dive a bit deeper into these costs it is easy to see why the price of cord blood banking is so high. There are a variety of medical procedures like blood screening to make sure the blood is free of infectious diseases, blood processing to extract the stem cells, bacterial and fungal infection checks, and also a stem cell viability check to make sure the cells are capable of producing new cells. Not to mention the cost to transport, and cryogenically store this blood in a safe environment for 20 years!
How do I know if I am getting a good value for the price when it comes to cord blood banking?
With the cost of cord blood banking being a major deterrent for many families, cord blood banks often run special offers and promotions, which allows expecting parents to save money.
Find an experienced cord blood bank:
Has the cord blood bank you’re evaluating released cells for transplant? How many? Do they have proven systems for being able to deliver viable cells? An established and credible cord blood bank should be able to demonstrate a history of success.
Find an established cord blood bank:
Look for a cord blood bank that has been around awhile. It is not uncommon for cord blood banks to come and go. We suggest finding a cord blood bank that has been around at least 10 years and is likely to still be in operation throughout the duration of your cord blood storage needs.
Find a cord blood bank with insurance:
Most credible, established cord blood banks today offer a guarantee on the viability of your cord blood. These guarantees can be as high as $100,000 and offer a layer of protection.
Find a cord blood bank with a laboratory that is accredited:
There are two primary types of accreditation for cord blood banks in the United States. These are AABB and FACT. You will want to make sure that your cord blood bank’s laboratory is accredited by one of these organizations because they set the standards for stem cell processing, storage, and cellular therapy.
Find a cord blood bank with reasonable pricing:
Once you have narrowed down to the cord blood banks that meet all of the criteria listed above it is time to evaluate the cord blood storage pricing options available to you. There are a number of banks with a variety of pricing options and some even have payment plans for cord blood banking services. Some, like MiracleCord, offer a price match guarantee that will ensure you get the absolute best pricing you can get from an AABB accredited cord blood bank, along with a $100,000 guarantee!
That said, whether you bank with MiracleCord or with another company it is important to stress the importance of persevering your baby’s cord blood. Yes, it can be expensive, but the costs are small in comparison to the possibility of saving the life of your child or another family member.
If you would like to learn more about banking your baby’s cord blood, we offer a free info kit that will tell you everything you need to know about the process. There is no obligation to sign-up and you can download our free cord blood banking information kit today.