Week 24: Cord Blood

cord bloodThis is what’s on my mind this week. It’s not sexy… I know. At least not as sexy as say, writing about our upcoming room-makeover for the twins’ nursery. But hey, it’s time for my husband and I to consider cord blood. From what I read it’s good to know if we want to collect this after the birth of our twins by week 27; that way if we decide to do this, we have plenty of time to manage all the details.

So hold on tight, I’m gonna share EVERYTHING I’ve learned so far about cord blood with you… starting with this enlightening link on the general benefits… including the fact that “To date it can treat more than 80 diseases using Haematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) transplants, including leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and metabolic disorders.”

I’ve talked to a number of people about this, but it was my friend Julia who gave me the most thorough information. She told me not only about her decision to collect her son’s cord blood, but her experience in doing so as well. This is the sort of information you can only get from a friend. So of course I have to share it with you.

I am just one day from our six month OB visit and ultrasound (yippee!!!) so Julia’s timing with this information is impeccable. I plan to go over all that I’ve learned and any questions that I will no doubt have at my upcoming appointment.

So what have I learned? In a nutshell, that it’s best to think of collecting our twins’ cord blood as “insurance”… something you hope you’ll NEVER need, but if you do, man are you GLAD you have it. And I also learned it’s expensive.

The first question I had for my friend was given the cost, WHY did you decide to go ahead and do this? Her answer says it all:

“Santi and I thought about banking Aiden’s cord blood after I read about it in a magazine. After being a nurse in the PICU, I thought about all of the genetic disorders my patients had encountered, (i.e. various cancers, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy) and I wondered if there were anyway stem cells could have cured or at least improved their conditions. I also had an aunt pass away of leukemia the year before I had Aiden. She was able to get a life saving stem cell transplant, but after only a couple of months her body rejected the foreign stem cells and she passed away. She was only 40 years old. I often wondered if she could have gotten an autologous transplant (her own stem cells), if that would have saved her life.

I brought it up with my doctor and he told us he thought it was a great idea to bank our child’s cord blood. I remember him saying, ‘Twenty years ago, bone marrow transplants weren’t even possible. Who knows what’s going to be possible in the next twenty years.’ I think that was when we decided to go ahead and do it.”

So they did it. They made the investment. Julia says that there are two main companies that provide this service, CBR and ViaCord, and that in all her research they were close in price… about $2,000 per child give or take a $100. Wow. I don’t even want to see the price tag on twins!!! But my friend was encouraging here as well, telling me there’s a discount for medical professionals and for mothers of twins, payment plans (interest free) and a gift registry option. Can’t you just see yourself opening this at your baby shower?!?! A unique and practical gift to say the least. I can just hear Practical Mommy’s approval now. *wink*

OK. I know this isn’t for everyone, but as a medical professional, I have to say, I am definitely interested in the benefits it could have in the way of health and healing. SO I dig a little deeper. I asked my friend for resources… where to go, who to call. Here is her reply:

“A great resource for accurate info that is independently operated is parentsguidecordblood.org. You can also check out CBR’s website and even take an online tour of their lab. The Cord Blood Education Specialist that I worked with at CBR was Jennifer Lind. She was a great help from the beginning to the end of the process. Her e-mail is jlind@cordblood.com and her phone number is (800) 588-6377 Ext. 686.”

I found this page helpful which lists a number of Public and Private Banks. So there you have it. You now know everything I know on the matter. I’ll be talking to my doctor tomorrow and plan to talk with someone at CBR as well this week so I’ll keep you posted.

If you’ve had kids, did you do this? If you are pregnant, have you heard about the benefits of cord blood? Are you weighing whether or not to go there as well? Tell me all and I’ll let you know what I decide soon.

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Shower_HugBaby(s) Watch is published in partnership with The Shower Hug, essential for breast pain relief during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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How Spirit Moves

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri  where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yogi Parenting, a positive parenting approach for raising kids of all ages.

Comments

  1. Hmmm… we collected and have saved cord blood for both our kids. I chose Cryobanks International based on the recommendation of a friend who did all the research. :) I know that we pay $99/yr for storage but can’t recall what the collection fee was.

    Our doctor was used to the procedure and mentioned that it was quite common. That was in 2001 and 2003.

    [Reply]

  2. My husband and I decided to bank both our daughter’s and son’s cord blood. Yes, it’s very expensive, but we thought it was important enough to make it worth it. Plus, since it’s a potentially life-saving measure, chances are that family members looking to give you a meaningful gift would be happy to pitch in.

    What we did for our daughter 2 years ago, after paying the full cost of banking our son’s cord blood ourselves, was to add it to our online baby registry. We were using myregistry.com to register for our shower anyway, and they have a cash gift fund option where several people can donate money to one fund (we labeled ours “just in case fund” since we thought “cord blood fund” would be a turn-off!

    Between my parents and my husbands three sisters, we ended up not paying a single cent for this very worthy cause. No matter how you swing it, I definitely think this is something to seriously consider!

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  3. thanks susan. so cool to hear how you went about it with the registry and all. that is what my friend Julia was saying… people really can register for this to cover the cost. and i really like how you called it the “just in case fund”. GREAT TIP.

    i talked with my doctor today and she gave me the run down between public and private banks. she had a good point. if we ALL gave to public banks, when there was a need, the blood/cells would be there. like the idea of this being talked about more, and if not going private, let’s GO PUBLIC with it. that way god forbid it was needed, the match would be right there in the bank.

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  4. My thinking was in the event we needed a match, it would be difficult since our genetic “heritage” is pretty rare! :)

    Here’s the pricing for CryoBanks!
    http://www.cryo-intl.com/enroll/pricing/

    [Reply]

  5. This is such an amazing discovery. There is nothing better than knowing you can have something there to help if needed. Can I create a fund for this in my baby registry?

    [Reply]

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