4 days ago
BE THE MATCH
For those that do not know, umbilical cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells. It's a great source to treat certain diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
One new decision parents get to make now is what to do with this cord blood. Once upon a time, because its importance was discovered, this resource was discarded as medical waste. Now, new parents have the option of banking the cord blood for future use or donating the cord blood for someone else to use or for medical research.
Banking cord blood is still a fairly new thing. It's expensive and acts sorta like insurance. But as I looked into it a bit more, it's really expensive insurance that may or may not be useful. If the child turns out to have certain disorders, the banked cord blood would not come in handy since it contains the same cells. Hubby and I did not seriously consider this to be an option for us anyway, since, in addition to the high cost, we didn't have family histories of terminal diseases.
We are, however, looking into the donation route. The donation programs are still quite small, but I think they will grow as time goes on. The National Marrow Donor Program has information on how to donate cord blood. Unfortunately for me, my hospital is not participating in the program run by the local blood bank in my area. But, that doesn't mean I cannot help. One of the blood banks, Cryobanks International, has a program where they accept cord blood donations from anywhere in the US. I'm currently looking into this right now. There is a deadline, however, and you cannot register after 34 weeks of pregnancy.
This costs us nothing but can help many. For other expectant moms out there, please consider it.