The day the baby is born, they will collect some of her remaining cord blood, as well as cord tissue, and it will be shipped off to a storage facility where we hope it will never have to be used. Based on our family histories, we decided it was worth the expense to have the backup plan for our little girl. While it is still a fairly new medical procedure, we hope that the instances for using cord blood and tissue to treat illnesses will only increase in our child’s lifetime.
We did A LOT of reading on this topic, and I want to stress that this should be a personal family decision – based on family health history, finances and beliefs. I do not think cord & tissue blood banking is necessary for everyone, but if it helps to bring peace of mind, it’s worth looking into. We also asked around to our friends who recently had children and it was about half who decided to go through with it. Of course, the argument is that our generation didn’t have it – and hey! We’re doing just fine! So really, don’t feel pressured either way.
First, there are options. You can choose to collect just the cord blood. Most of the medical research thus far has been done using cord blood to fight illnesses – with great results! A newer option is to also collect the cord tissue, which I understand doctors are testing to treat other things like genetic disorders, sports injuries, and other stem cell-type issues. (Not a doctor here, people… just giving you my layman’s terminology as best I know how!) Again, do your research and decide for yourself. I would consider myself a perpetual optimist who also finds all of this futuristic medical mojo quite interesting, so please take that into consideration when reading this. Just the idea that they might be able to one day solve currently “incurable” medical problems with my baby’s fetal tissue is REALLY COOL.
Second, keep in mind that this is something that can be done last minute. You can sign up and they can overnight a cord and tissue donation package that you simply bring in your hospital bag and hand off to medical staff before you deliver your baby. It really couldn’t be simpler. So, don’t stress. Do your research. Decide if it’s a viable option for your growing family. And enjoy the fact that regardless, there is going to be a little one here to accept all the love and kisses you can dish out, before you know it!