Cord blood has become a hot commodity when it used to be medical waste. After scientists found that it is rich in stem cells that can treat dozens of disorders, more and more expectant mothers are choosing to save their child’s cord blood. New parents have the option to donate it. However, if your doctor recommends saving it, you might wonder how much does cord blood banking cost in the USA?
Keep reading to know more.
How Much Does Cord Blood Banking Cost in the USA?
If you choose to donate it, there’s no fee involved.
However, if you store it in a private cord blood bank for future use, then you will have to pay certain fees.
You can find the many pitches of private cord blood banking everywhere. The information can be found at baby fairs or in brochures while you wait for your doctor.
Most doctors urge pregnant mothers to donate their children’s cord blood.
But they caution against signing up for private cord blood storage.
Still, it’s your choice. But before you make a final decision, you need to be informed.
Saving the Cord Blood Cost
It’s expensive to save your child’s cord blood for future use. The fees can go anywhere from $500 to $2,500. There are also yearly storage fees that you have to handle.
Keep in mind that the fees don’t include the costs you pay for prenatal care and child delivery. The average cost of having a baby during the first year is $12,940.
Is There a Good Reason to Save the Cord Blood?
Even though not all doctors are sold on the idea of saving the child’s cord blood, there are cases private cord blood banking makes total sense.
Cord blood is a precious resource of stem cells. It’s a life-saving treatment for many people.
For instance, if you have a family history of a genetic mutation or a certain medical condition, then you or another member of your family can benefit from the saved cord blood.
You may also consider it if you don’t know your family background because you are adopted.
Most doctors don’t recommend cord blood banking because of a slim chance that your baby will need his/her stem cells someday.
If you donate it, you won’t have to pay any fees during collection and storage. However, you will lose the right to use it in the future. If your baby would need his/her stem cells, he/she could utilize the stem cells from someone else.
Donating cord blood to a public bank is the better option for most mothers.
If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars every year to save your child’s cord blood, then it’s better to just donate it.
You, your child, or another member of your family might not use it. However, it could be used for another child or for research.
On the other hand, if you have decided to save it, you should arrange the collection and storage ahead of time.
You can’t just decide it at the last minute. Keep in mind that collecting cord blood requires special preparation.
Tested for Genetic and Infectious Diseases
If you choose to donate your baby’s cord blood, it will undergo testing for genetic and infectious diseases.
The genetic test may affect your life and that of your child.
The test may help you learn that your baby is likely to develop a serious condition, which is sometimes scary. This knowledge may affect your relationships with the other members of your family.
If your child tests positive for a gene that can cause disease, you may elect treatment if it’s available to prevent the disease from becoming severe.
Assess the Bank
Keep in mind that not all private cord blood banks are created equal. That’s why it’s a wise idea to assess the bank.
Whether you choose to donate or save it, make sure that you know how the bank handles the samples.
Ask the bank how it collects, transports and stores the cord blood.
Make sure that it screens it for defects before storing it.
Collecting your baby’s cord blood for donation or storage can be complicated. Remember that not all hospitals have the capacity to collect it.
Furthermore, public cord blood banks don’t operate in all areas in the US.
And during childbirth, your doctor and nurses don’t want to get distracted. Their main focus is on you and the baby.
How Long Does Cord Blood Last?
If it’s carefully collected and properly stored, it can be viable for over 20 years.
If you wish to know more about cord blood, talk to your doctor about it.
To help you make a better decision whether to donate or save it, discuss your options with your doctor.
And if you decide to save it, make sure to plan ahead of time. Planning must be made months before you give birth.
As mentioned, collection can’t be done at the last minute.
How much does cord blood banking cost in the USA? It can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200. It depends on the private blood bank you choose. There are also associated yearly fees. Talk to your doctor about whether it is wise to save or just donate the cord blood.
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