Cord blood banking allows you to store your infant’s cord blood for your family’s future use
Cord blood banking, also known as umbilical cord blood storage, is an option that some parents choose when their child is born. Our Austin OBGYN practice supports cord blood banking at parents’ request. Cord blood is collected when the infant is delivered and sent to a private bank, where it is stored for a fee.
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages cord blood banking at private storage banks, but does encourage cord blood donation where the cord blood is collected and stored in public cord banks which are regulated by the federal government. The cord blood is then available for public use and is not available for your individual use. There is no fee for cord blood donation.
Women’s Health Texas encourages patients to talk with their obstetrician and pediatrician to learn more about cord blood banking and umbilical cord blood storage, so they can make their own informed decisions.
How is cord blood collected?
Cord blood is collected from your baby’s umbilical cord after it is clamped off—the blood is not directly from mother or baby. If no instructions are given, umbilical cord blood and the placenta are discarded after the birth.
If you choose to store cord blood, after the cord blood is collected, it’s sent to a cord blood bank and tested. If the blood is deemed usable, the private blood bank stores it exclusively for your family’s future use.
How could my family use cord blood?
Doctors can use stem cells from cord blood to treat various diseases in both children and adults. Cord blood has been used to treat over 70 diseases, including certain types of cancer, hereditary diseases and diseases that affect the immune system. However, the odds that your child or any of your relatives will need to use this blood are low.
Questions to consider when deciding whether to choose cord blood banking
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you consider and discuss the following points.*
- Many diseases are not treatable with a person’s own cord cells.
- Currently, the odds of your baby’s cord blood being needed to treat either your child or a family member are about 1 in 2,700. Researchers continue to look for new uses for stem cells, so they may find new ways in the future to treat diseases that do not use stem cells.
- We do not know how long cord blood can be safely and successfully stored.
Information about Women’s Health Texas and cord blood banking
We support cord blood donation and banking, and are happy to collect cord blood when you deliver your baby. We charge $200, and you are responsible for payment on this charge. We will not file an insurance claim for you for this collection. In addition, it’s your responsibility to provide the collection kit and see that it is mailed to the processing center.
Please be aware that making arrangements with a cord blood banking company could take up to two months and should not be left to the last minute. We also cannot guarantee the quality or quantity of cord blood because this varies with each birth. Samples may become contaminated with bacteria or maternal blood cells from the birth process, which could cause unforeseen effects when used in the future.
Please review information from the Texas Department of State Health Services regarding umbilical cord blood banking and donation.
Below are a few companies that offer this service.
Cord Blood Registry 1-888-932-6568
Cryo-Cell International 1-800-786-7235
Lifebank USA 1-877-543-3226
Family Cord Blood Services 1-800-490-2673
Cord Blood Center 1-888-780-2885
Women’s Health Texas and our Austin OBGYN team is always happy to discuss every aspect of your pregnancy. Contact us to make an appointment.