Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It?

There are many things to consider when you have a baby. One of these is blood from the baby's umbilical cord (which connects the baby to the mother in the womb). In the past, blood was thrown away at birth, but now many parents store blood for their child's future health. Should you do this?

What is it?

Cord blood banking is the process of collecting potentially life-saving stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta and storing them for future use. Stem cells are immature cells that can take on the form of other cells.

What can it be used for?

Umbilical cord fluid is filled with stem cells. They can treat cancer, blood disorders such as anemia, and some immune system disorders that disrupt the body's ability to defend itself.

The fluid is easy to collect and contains 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marrow. Stem cells from cord blood rarely carry any infectious diseases and are only half as likely to be rejected as adult stem cells.

Myths of cord blood

Cord blood banking is only for the wealthy.

Reality: While cord blood banking does involve an initial investment, there are various options available to make it more affordable. Some public banks offer free storage for altruistic donation, while private banks typically charge a fee for storage. However, many private banks also offer payment plans to spread out the cost over time.

Cord blood banking is unnecessary because stem cells can be obtained from other sources.

Reality: While it's true that stem cells can be obtained from sources such as bone marrow or peripheral blood, cord blood offers unique advantages. Cord blood stem cells are less likely to be rejected by the recipient's immune system, making them valuable for transplantation. Additionally, cord blood collection is non-invasive and painless for both mother and baby.

Cord blood banking is only useful for treating the baby from whom it was collected.

Reality: Cord blood can be used not only to treat the baby from whom it was collected but also for siblings, parents, or other family members who are a suitable match. This makes it a valuable resource for the entire family in case of medical need.

Benefits of cord blood

Medical Advancements: Cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of various diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and certain genetic disorders. Research continues to uncover new potential applications for these stem cells, suggesting that they may play a significant role in future medical advancements.

Peace of Mind: For many parents, cord blood banking offers peace of mind knowing that they have taken proactive steps to safeguard their child's health. In the event of a medical emergency, having access to stored cord blood can provide valuable treatment options and potentially save lives.

Future Therapies: As medical research progresses, the potential uses for cord blood stem cells are expanding. Clinical trials are underway to explore their effectiveness in treating conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, and spinal cord injuries. By banking cord blood, parents are investing in the potential for future therapies that may benefit their child or family members.


It costs money to store your baby's cord blood. Private banking costs about $1,000 to $2,000 to get started. You then have to pay an annual storage fee for as long as the blood is stored. The annual storage fee is over $100. Health plans typically do not cover these costs. Only you can decide whether the cost makes sense for you and your family.

Cord blood banking offers a valuable opportunity to secure potentially life-saving stem cells for future medical use. While there are costs involved, the benefits – both tangible and intangible – can outweigh the initial investment for many families. By debunking common myths and exploring the potential advantages, parents can make informed decisions about whether cord blood banking is worth it for their family. Ultimately, it's a personal choice guided by considerations of health, finances, and peace of mind.

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