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Ask Slashdot: Store Umbilical Cord Blood — and If So, Where?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the freezer-at-the-overlook-hotel-is-good dept.

Medicine 321

gambit3 writes "My wife and I are expecting our first child in 3 months, and one of the decisions we still have to make is whether to store our baby's cord blood. Even if we decide the upfront cost is worth it, there is still the question of using a public bank or a private one (and which one to trust), and whether to also store umbilical cord tissue for stem cells. Does you have any experience or suggestions?"

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I vant your blood (-1, Offtopic)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#39512537)


Drink it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512885)

Just drink it and feel the awesome baby power. Eat the baby too for an even better effect. The chinks do it [blogspot.com] and there's over a billion of them, so it must be good for something...

Re:Drink it (2, Informative)

Gripp (1969738) | about 2 years ago | (#39512933)

do NOT click that link.. some things you can't un-see. ... :( you've been warned.

Re:Drink it (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#39513109)

You know you just made me and everyone else want to click that link even more, right? Even thought I know I will regret it.
OK well that was not nearly that bad, probably fake.... But you never know.
OK looked it up and it is done by some artist, sounds like to protest abortions and does not use real human flesh.

Re:Drink it (1)

Gripp (1969738) | about 2 years ago | (#39513229)

yeah, i was aware that it may entice some more... but i figured better people were warned, rather than blindly clicking like i did. good to know it is fake. still disgusting.

Re:Drink it (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | about 2 years ago | (#39513283)

I didn't check the link myself. But there is actually a practice that some women do where they consume the placenta. Usually it's dried out and then ground up into a powder and mixed into a beverage or something. The idea being that it's got a lot of nutrients such as vitamins in it and usually a mother who gave birth recently is in short supply of those vitamins.

Re:Drink it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513357)

I didn't check the link myself. But there is actually a practice that some women do where they consume the placenta. Usually it's dried out and then ground up into a powder and mixed into a beverage or something. The idea being that it's got a lot of nutrients such as vitamins in it and usually a mother who gave birth recently is in short supply of those vitamins.

I feel this is proof of Intelligent Design. Childbirth is a very strenuous affair; the mother is completely exhausted at the end. God knows this and provided the mother with a uterine vag-steak vending machine for an immediate, revitalizing treat!

CBR is the one I used (5, Informative)

Zondar (32904) | about 2 years ago | (#39512565)

I think their website is www.cordblood.com

You pay an up-front fee for the collection and first year storage, and a smaller fee each year for storage.

Re:CBR is the one I used (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513333)

We used CBR as well. They used to have a program where you could pay for 18 years up front (pricey, but paid off for a while). I did a very small amount of research, and CBR seemed "big enough" to trust to be in business years from now.

As someone mentioned earlier - donation is cheaper (or free). I was thinking that route, but we have a medical issues in the family so it might come in handy in the future (never know what they might use it for in the future).

Information too late (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512573)

Methods are known that can prevent the reproductive process in humans.

Oh really? (5, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#39512587)

So, this "wife" of yours supposedly had "sex" with you? Whatever! What next mods? Are we going to get stories about Slashdot posters getting tired of their supermodel girlfriends interrupting their Battlefield 3 matches?

Re:Oh really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512959)

Wait, your supermodel girlfriend doesn't play Battlefield 3? You gotta dump that bitch.

Who "owns" who (2, Funny)

Dareth (47614) | about 2 years ago | (#39513005)

So if your hypothetical supermodel girlfriend does play Battlefield 3 with you, who "OWNS" who?

My non-hypothetical non-supermodel wife is a descent player of Ultimate Mortal Kombat. Though I do think Sonya's leg grab is ultra cheesy!

Re:Who "owns" who (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513477)

Marrying an XBox is still illegal in 49 states.Still legal in Alabama, if she converts to Christianity first.

Re:Oh really? (0)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#39512971)

Are we going to get stories about Slashdot posters getting tired of their supermodel girlfriends interrupting their Battlefield 3 matches?

No, we're going to get stories about how our supermodel girlfriends pwned us so bad on Battlefield 3 we had to move back into our parents' basement.

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512997)

I guess you were trying to be funny, but you just come across as a real dick.

Even your "joke" is tired and unoriginal. I was thinking about making a comment that just because you live in your parents' basement doesn't mean other people can't have a normal life, but that would just be playing to the same stupid meme...

Re:Oh really? (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | about 2 years ago | (#39513343)

I was thinking about making a comment that just because you live in your parents' basement doesn't mean other people can't have a normal life, but that would just be playing to the same stupid meme...

Good you didn't make that comment.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#39513521)

I have an outstanding deal with my supermodel girlfriend. We bother consider knife kills to be the ultimate ownage. Any time one of us gets a knife kill on the other we have to give oral.

Public (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512601)

The chance that someone else is going to need your cord blood is way, way higher than the chance that you'll need it for your own family. Give it to the public bank.

Plus, the private banks are damned expensive.

Re:Public (5, Interesting)

xyzzy42 (740215) | about 2 years ago | (#39512851)

Exactly. This is why my wife and I decided to donate our children's cord blood. Keep in mind that your OB might charge to collect the cord blood (ours did). Many OB's will waive their cord blood fee for donations, but not for private banking.

Re:Public (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#39513143)

0.25% lifetime probability that your kid will ever need it in their entire lifetime. The math just doesn't work out to make it worth it (IMO) to collect it for their own use, especially given that there are many circumstances where peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow could be used just as easily and harvested when needed (cutting down that 0.25% even further).

Your Freezer (1, Troll)

Wingfat (911988) | about 2 years ago | (#39512609)

Keep it at your home in your freezer and defrost it in a year and eat it

Re:Your Freezer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512645)

^^^^ THIS!!!!

Re:Your Freezer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513053)

Afterbirth: Study asks if we could derive benefits from ingesting placenta [eurekalert.org] "They say this possibility does not warrant the wholesale ingestion of afterbirth, for some very good reasons, but that it deserves further study..."

Re:Your Freezer (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#39513149)

Bizarrely, this isn't necessarily a troll... In China human placenta has long been used in traditional medicine and is becoming a trendy, if somewhat black market, delicacy.

Personally I think it's a horrible idea - not because of the gross-out factor, but because eating human tissue is an great way to contract human diseases. Do you really want to eat something that comes with test results certifying it is HIV-free? (to quote Dave Barry - I am not making this up).

This rules out Bank of America (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#39512629)

"there is still the question of using a public bank or a private one (and which one to trust)"

I wouldn't trust them with anything. At least my childs blood.

I'm also interested on this answer (4, Informative)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about 2 years ago | (#39512649)

I used Cryo-cell, since they provide this service in Ecuador. As a company it seems very serious and active, but I had never used the stored cells. I really don't know how well the company will respond once you need it.

Re:I'm also interested on this answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512995)

This is a joke, right? Ecuador is a 3rd world shithole, why would you need that? Puto ecuata de mierda.

Marcan. I'm an asshole, so I work for Google now.

Well, this IS slashdot... (5, Funny)

Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) | about 2 years ago | (#39512659)

...store it in the cloud.

Re:Well, this IS slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512695)

I wish I had mod points for you :)

Re:Well, this IS slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512901)

sf.net [sourceforge.net]

Re:Well, this IS slashdot... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39512931)

...store it in the cloud.

No, this is SLASHDOT. You need to find a storage bank that uses only GPL-licensed software and accepts payment in BitCoins.

They might store your cord blood in open buckets at room temperature - but you need to get your priorities straight!

Re:Well, this IS slashdot... (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#39513105)

I don't like all this cloud malarky, as well as running my own email server and every other kind of server I keep umbilical cord blood in the freezer - bottom drawer.

It also means I get more value out of my comprehensive backup power-generating system (several UPS and a few generators, solar panels). Don't be fooled by cheap outsourced blood storage, they make their money by virtualising an instance of your child based on their DNA so they can predict well ahead of time which products they'll be interested in.

CryoCell (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512677)

My wife and I used CryoCell (http://www.cryo-cell.com/). They are slightly cheaper, but CBR is much larger and does research as well.

It's a personal decision, but consider donation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512681)


Seconded (2)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 2 years ago | (#39513493)

We donated the cord blood from both our kids.

When your kid has a 1 in 400 chance of needing it themselves even ONCE in their entire lifetime...well, I'd rather help someone in need.

Donate (3, Insightful)

Elyas (59360) | about 2 years ago | (#39512687)

The scientific benefits are still uncertain, and the statistics as to whether your child would need it are pretty low. Better to donate, save your money, and increase the odds that someone will be helped

Alternative: donate it (5, Insightful)

astrostl (2524450) | about 2 years ago | (#39512707)

That's what we did with our first child, and will do with our second. In addition to the costs associated, banking it is a what-if scenario, and adult stem cells are already starting to show promise. We expect no problems justifying it to ourselves or our kids IF they develop some sort of problem AND first-party cord-blood treatment is the best or only solution for it: we're choosing to help people now, as opposed to potentially helping person later. If the efficacy situation were more apparent to us now, it would be a closer decision.

Re:Alternative: donate it (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39512779)

You would be better off buying lottery tickets for your kids with the money that you're spending. At least there is a chance it could be used for something.

If you really feel the need to do this, use a public registry that uses the cord blood for real research, not a private company that's just hoping you will pay them every month.

ViaCord (5, Informative)

jcaldwel (935913) | about 2 years ago | (#39512763)

My son was born a little over a year ago, and I selected ViaCord [viacord.com] as a cord blood bank. We evaluated a few, and they seemed to be more competent than other options. It's important to get the "collection kit" up front, and have it with you in the hospital... at least in my case, the hospital does not provide any of the supplies. Also, your wife will need to make sure that the OB/GYN is aware ahead of time about your decision to store the blood.

People do this? (5, Insightful)

Nukenbar (215420) | about 2 years ago | (#39512771)

As someone without children, WTF are you all talking about and why do people do this?

Re:People do this? (3, Informative)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#39512859)

I actually just saw a special about this, it has something to do with stem cells and if there is a issue later in life, the blood can be used as treatment, much better than donor blood and 100% compatible (because it their own blood)

Re:People do this? (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#39513201)

Basically, if some stem cell research pans out then you might need some of your own stem cells later in life to actually use it. While there is currently no use for cord blood, the thinking is that in 60 years it might be really useful, and that's when your kid may need it. It's impossible to say what new medical procedures will be available in 60 years, so the whole thing is a gamble. Heck, even if the medical procedures pan out, they may not have a good way of reversing the freezing damage on the cells.

It's something for optimists with some extra disposable income. There are some pretty sketchy looking cord blood companies out there however, so do your research. Since nobody is making withdrawals from these banks yet, it's hard to tell which ones are real and which ones are scams/incompetent.

Re:People do this? (4, Interesting)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#39513399)

No, in fact, your cord blood will be irretrievably damaged after a couple years in the freezer.

There is not a minute chance that putting your cord blood in a private bank will serve any purpose except make the bastards rich. There is none. There is never enough blood that a single cord suffices. The private banks are a scam of epic proportion.

If you want to do good, you should just donate the cord blood to science. It is a valuable resource for people studying stem cells. And these are the people from whom you will eventually benefit: their research will come back to you in the form of better treatments, or perhaps simply better understanding of biology, which will lead to better treatments.

A lot of people prefer that the cord bloods end up in the trash can rather than being used in science. Because they are afraid that researchers will put the cells into mice or something. Which of course is exactly what they do, because it is necessary to understand how stem cells behave in living organisms. And the benefits are enormous for everyone.

TL;DR : public bank if you really want to. Research is a much better use for it at this point.

Re:People do this? (3, Informative)

Derkec (463377) | about 2 years ago | (#39513285)

I believe Cord stem cells are rather "pure" stem cells that are very undifferentiated. Making them ideal for a handful of medical procedures and unspecified future medical procedures that may be created. Generally, this nifty resource is lost right after birth (it's thrown away). So some companies have been created to store them, and provide them to you (or others if donated) in the case one of those rare procedures is required.

If I recall correctly, you're looking at $500-$1000 to get things going, and a 50-100 annual fee to maintain. This falls under the broader cateogory of stuff sold under the banner of, "You love your baby right? You'd do anything to protect it? Right? You're not a callous evil person."

Re:People do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513481)

As someone without children, WTF are you all talking about and why do people do this?

You should try this google thing. I heard it's amazing, like AltaVista on steroids.

Not worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512817)

Big discussion about it here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1121431/

Not Worth It (4, Insightful)

weszz (710261) | about 2 years ago | (#39512841)

I'd say not worth it...

I have a 2.5 (mine) and a 1.5 year old (foster child) and to me if you would need this I think they would probably have an indication of it before the kid is born. Things are so far along these days with the 4d ultrasounds and such...

Enjoy fatherhood. every 6 months they get more fun with the first 6 month being more of a family pet than a real person. Now at 2.5 years we are running around the backyard having squirt gun fights and she is coming up with all kinds of crazy views on the world. It goes quickly...

But yea, if you and the wife are healthy and she took care of herself the past number of months, the chances of ever needing it are very low.

Re:Not Worth It (1)

captbob2002 (411323) | about 2 years ago | (#39513097)

Agree with the above. But the cord blood outfits work very hard to make you feel as if you don't love your child enough if you don't do this. Enjoy. two years, was a blast, three was a blast...six now and I've recently been told that I am annoying and evil by my progeny...so she is learning. be sure to teach them to swim!

Re:Not Worth It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513135)

What I saw when we investigated it:

1) The chances of needing it are really small.
2) The child who donates is not a great candidate for their own cells as whatever defect they are being treated for exists in their stem cells.
3) There are banks with cells if needed.
4) The best place for that cord blood is in your baby.

If you can, I'd donate it. Most hospitals/OB charge a fee for collection, and it's sort of a PITA. Our OB squeezed the cord to put as much of the blood in the kid as possible before clamping and cutting (she wanted to get him to the respiratory therapist ASAP).

Re:Not Worth It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513515)

I think they would probably have an indication of it before the kid is born.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplants are used to treat cancers and immunodeficiencies. If you can tell which fetuses or newborn kids are going to develop cancers, you are decades ahead of what is cutting edge medicine. If a kid has an immunodeficiency identified at birth, giving the kid his own stem cells will be replacing a bad immune system with his own deficient immune system.

In short, there is no way to know at birth whether your kid is going to ever need the stem cells. You are correct in that the chances of ever needing a stem cell transplant are low but that is regardless of whether you take "care of [yourself] the past number of months." Don't get me wrong, it is always a good idea to take care of yourself, especially when pregnant, but show me the data to suggest that not doing so will increase the odds of the kid developing cancer or an immunodeficiency.

Are you living in a mud hut or something? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512847)

Good good man, use your fridge freezer!

We used ViaCord (3, Informative)

Doofus (43075) | about 2 years ago | (#39512875)

We used ViaCord [viacord.com] for our first, and will be using them for our second. Similar to other services, you pay a collection fee (blood approx $1500, blood+tissue approx $2700) and then a small annual fee for storage.

It remains unclear to me that cord-tissue preservation will be worth the gamble; the option wasn't available several years ago for our first, but is now. We are debating about whether the extra cost is worthwhile, considering no studies have demonstrated effective therapies using cryo-preserved cord tissue.

Your mileage may vary.

Enjoy the adventure with the new one.

Re:We used ViaCord (3, Interesting)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#39513449)

Sorry, but you have been scammed. You will never have the opportunity to use the cord: the freezer will make it unusable in a couple years. Also, in the rare cases where it would serve, the reality is that a single cord is rarely enough in any case. It is far better to give the cord to a public bank or simply donate it to science.

Researchers need your cord blood: it is an extremely valuable resource to them, and can essentially do no good for you.

Unless you're rich, don't bother (5, Informative)

sweatyboatman (457800) | about 2 years ago | (#39512883)

The cord blood banking industry is right on the border between speculative medicine and outright scam. It's insanely profitable, which is why every doctor's office is littered with pamphlets for competing cord blood banks.

There's a vanishingly small likelihood that your child will have some otherwise untreatable disease that the cord blood will help with. Most of the things they say cord blood can help with (like genetic defects) actually wont help your child, since the cord blood has the same faulty genetics. The banks also tout the potential for cord blood use in future therapies. However, it's likely that any treatment that uses cord blood would be just as effective using stem cells.

So what are you banking, in this case? I have no idea. The cord blood might be helpful for your next child, I guess.

Another thing to keep in mind is in order to harvest the cord blood, you have to cut the cord before it stops pulsating (that is, before all the blood in the cord has reached the baby). There's a growing body of evidence that your baby benefits from this blood, and the cord should be left intact. So banking your baby's cord blood may actually harm your child. Of course, whatever the effect it's unlikely life threatening, but it does seem unnecessary.

Re:Unless you're rich, don't bother (2)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#39513071)

The industry will try and find any way they can to suck money out of people. Even if you do buy into this, and some day you need it, they'll tell you there was a problem with the blood, or it will cost a fortune to use it. I'd be interested to know how many people actually benefited from this.

Re:Unless you're rich, don't bother (1)

Mathieu Lutfy (69) | about 2 years ago | (#39513127)

Agreed. Private cord banks are pure scam, abusing of vulnerable parents who do not want to take any risks ("a small price to pay for peace of mind").

Public cord banks, on the other hand, save lives. Stem cells can be taken from a donor, not just from umbelical cords. Hema Quebec [hema-quebec.qc.ca] is a good example of an efficient public bank, imho.

Not to mention that it is unlikely that a single umbelical cord would be enough to save a life. A person under 50kg may require up to the equivalent of 3 or 4 umbelical cords. (ref [radio-canada.ca], in french)

Re:Unless you're rich, don't bother (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#39513483)

This. A thousand times this. People need to know this.

As an alternative to public cord banks, you can donate your cord blood to stem cell researchers who need it.

Re:Unless you're rich, don't bother (1)

brainzach (2032950) | about 2 years ago | (#39513223)

Storing cord blood is a good idea if the kid is a mixed race since it is most harder to find a stem cell match.

The use of cord blood still only good enough to be used when a kid is below 80 lbs for stem cell transplants and even that isn't ideal. For treating cancer, an autologous transplant has a higher chance of relapse compared getting it donated from someone else.

WTF? (3, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#39512897)

Seriously WTF!?!?!?

I've gone through the birth of all five of my children and I've never contemplated anything close to this. Once I pay the hospital bill the birth process is over.. Next!

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513039)

[...]of all five of my children[...]

Once I pay the hospital bill the birth process is over.. Next!

Next ? You might wanna slow down after 5 you know

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513225)

"I've gone through the birth of all five of my children ..."


You are a selfish asshole.

The world is a crowded place and you have five kids ?

Fuck you, I hope you all die in a car crash soon.

We thought about it.... and elected to 'donate' it (5, Informative)

gus goose (306978) | about 2 years ago | (#39512967)

... for both our kids. We decided to 'donate' the cord blood (was free, and then you get 'preferential' access later if you happen to need some from the 'bank' later).

Turns out our kids were both born on Sunday evenings, and they do not collect blood on Sundays.....

Now I read all sorts of things about keeping the umbilical cord 'whole' for longer helps with anaemia... i.e. letting the cord 'drain' for longer is better for the baby. There's debate about how long the draining should take, but, it precludes the donation of the core blood.

If I were to be doing it again (and I'm not planning to...), I would talk with the O/B and delay the cutting of the cord for a few more minutes, and then forgo the donation of the blood entirely.

The prospects of tangible short-term benefits far outweighs the unlikely need for obscure treatments at some uncertain point in the future from some company that may or may not be around when you need them, and they may or may not have destroyed your tissues anyway, for a condition that may (at that time) be curable without cord blood anyway.


Re:We thought about it.... and elected to 'donate' (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 2 years ago | (#39513277)

The current wisdom is to wait until the cord stops pulsing (that is, is no longer connected to the baby's or the mother's blood supply) before clamping and cutting. It seems to make sense - the pulsing indicates that it's "in use".

Frankly, the whole cord blood seems like a scam to me. It doesn't do any good at the moment, and any suggestions that it eventually will are hand-wavey at best. Add in the large ongoing costs (and substantially larger initial costs), and the implied emotional argument of "you're bad parents if you don't do this" and it seems like Homer's "happy dude" scam. Pay a truckload of money, get essentially nothing in return, and be assured by some company that gladly took that money that it makes you better.

Re:We thought about it.... and elected to 'donate' (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#39513531)

You still should donate. The cord blood is a very precious resource for researchers. And it is very unlikely that delaying the cutting of the cord will make any measurable difference.

First in 3 months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39512981)

You have children pretty often, don't you?

Public over private (3, Informative)

juz (922469) | about 2 years ago | (#39512991)

We looked into this for our first kid. My wife is an anesthesiologist so has some idea about this. What we found (at least for Australia in 2006) was: - a public bank service is better than storing an individual's blood. Stem cells are exciting medically because they don't have the same sorts of matching requirements that blood and organs do - there were trust issues withe private operators

College (3, Interesting)

denbesten (63853) | about 2 years ago | (#39512999)

Take the money you would have spent on this and putit into a college fund. Odds of seeing a return on your investment are much greater.

lmao @ new ways for rich folks to burn money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513007)

they can't think of better things to do with it

We use CorCell (1)

JBL2 (994604) | about 2 years ago | (#39513017)

$269/yr, though that may have gone up for newer subscribers. (http://www.corcell.com/)

Donate it to your child! (5, Interesting)

Whorhay (1319089) | about 2 years ago | (#39513023)

Seriously, donate it to your own child at their birth. Read up on the benefits of delayed cord clamping. The only situation that I've heard of where it's not worth it is where an emergency arises during the birth that requires the child and mother be seperated ASAP to safe a life. The umbilical cord and placenta contain a significant amount of blood which is the childs. Clamping and severing the cord immediately can basically make the child anemic right off the bat. It only takes a few minutes for the cord to finish transfering that blood to the child, so give it some time. It may also be possible to still harvest the cord for storage or donation but I'm not sure.

Anyways google "delayed umbilical cord clamping"

Let the baby keep it, he/she needs it (5, Informative)

beberly37 (1236914) | about 2 years ago | (#39513051)

When a baby is born, blood continues to flow through the cord for a while giving the baby much needed nutrients. It is common practice for midwifes. Baby comes out, goes straight to mama's bare chest for skin-to-skin heat transfer and up-close pheromones (leaving the naturally protective goo). In a minute or so the chord goes from bright full-of-blood colored to dull gray and empty and it no longer pulses. Clamp and cut the chord then. We did this with our now 7 month old, she was back up to birth weight at the three day check up.

Donate it (1)

dmeeking (641206) | about 2 years ago | (#39513055)

Donate it to a public bank which should be free for you and offers the best chance for the cord blood to help someone. When we asked a doctor what to do when having our first child, she explained that donating to a public bank is the best option. The thing that most people don't realize about saving cord blood in a private bank for your own use is that if your child does happen to come down with the type of disease (e.g. leukemia) that requires stem cell treatment, it is highly unlikely that doctors would ever use the child's own cord blood because the child's stem cells already led to a case of leukemia and so there's no way they want to inject those (potentially) flawed stem cells again.

How about ask your Wife's doctor (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#39513063)

My wife and I got a bunch of that crap when we had our kids. We didn't know what to make of it so we asked her OBGYN and basically got that they were all scams as there aren't treatments that have been developed that use it and the chances that your child might benefit from any treatment developed using it are slim to none (another poster mentioned that you would be better off buying lottery tickets with that money and giving them to the child). Also as another poster mentioned it is amazing how many pamphlets are in a doctors office, I figure that the companies pay to put them there as a form advertising. If you still feel the need to have it collected donate it to research as there it stands a better chance of doing some good.

We chose to donate instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513093)

My wife and I have decided to donate the cord blood twice with our local donation agency. Before choosing whether to donate or bank we spoke with the resident expert and nationally recognized hematologist at well respected children's hospital where my wife's brother was undergoing leukemia treatments. After speaking with him and understanding all of the pluses and minuses of banking and to some degree how even banking cord blood may not be as good as advertised due to the small amounts banked, we decided to donate it to those that need it immediately. Understanding the need for cord blood in the hospitals now versus a potential if remote need in the future was the way we went.

This needs some research (1)

netdigger (847764) | about 2 years ago | (#39513119)

This is kinda intriguing to me. I wonder where the technology is going to be in the next 5 years.

Also there are a lot of claims being made on this tread that are in favor, against, and for alternatives. I really think that we need to be posting links not only to educate ourselves and others but also to help our future parents make the proper choice for their child and their family.

Your doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513133)

Me--two kids, 4 & 7. I had to deliver my daughter on the kitchen floor, but that's a story for a different day.

If you do the delivery properly (with a midwife not a doctor--pregnancy isn't an illness) after the baby is born, you wait a few minutes before cutting the cord. And if you do that the blood ends up in the baby, WHERE IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO.

What a waste... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513141)

Why do I feel like I get better medical advice from Slashdotters than from my own medical network? For my two children, we were bombarded with sales pitches for private cord blood banks, but were never informed of options to donate or of the option to let the cord "drain". Cost/Benefit on the private banks was ridiculous, so our nectar of life just ended up in the bin.

This is a scam , there is only enough for 1.5Kg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513177)

What they won't tell you is that the amount of blood you get in this coord is only sufficient for a maximum weight of your child of about 1.5Kg so keeping this insufficient amount of blood for your child of 15 years old is totally useless...

Also, at least here in Canada, hospitals do not use privante banks, as standards can vary and they only trust public banks... so even if you did have some usable blood they won't use it!

Also, there's only a 25% chance that the rest of your childrens/family may be compatible...

And do not forget that must of the "cures" detailed in their publicity is mainly science fiction!

Also, internationally there's no shortage of this kind of blood it's easy to find compatible donors in public banks around the world...

So don't go and buy a 15 year contract for unusable blood !

Sources : (in French) http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/la_facture/2011-2012/Reportage.asp?idDoc=208988

Re:This is a scam , there is only enough for 1.5Kg (1)

brainzach (2032950) | about 2 years ago | (#39513423)

It is not easy for everyone to find a match.

You are more likely to match someone who has the same ethnicity as you and some groups are underrepresented on the bone marrow registry. Those who are mixed race have the hardest time finding a match.

I received a stem cell transplant and even though I had 3 siblings, none of them matched. Luckily there were many matches on the national registry for me, but there are still many people who have a hard time finding a match. They either can't get the treatment they need or rely on a partial match with much more complications.

Cord blood storage is a communist plot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513309)

...to steal our precious bodily fluids!

Pretty much useless (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 2 years ago | (#39513339)

There is zero solid evidence that stored cord blood is useful for anything now. It is a waste of money to store.

Could it be of use in the future? Doubtful - any kind of real stem cell treatments are 10-20 years away, and they will likely have solved most of the IPS issues by then so your skin cells might be as useful as cord blood stem cells.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513371)

There is no evidence that cord blood does anything....However, medicine moves fast, as does technology.

We did this with our first child, and the second is due in 7 months. It's cheap insurance and even though nothing is proven...yet, can you even imagine where technology and medicine will be in 20 years?

It's relatively cheap insurance so do it.

Progenics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513373)

I'm posting anonymously due to the personal information involved. I used Progenics [progenicscryobank.com] in Canada. They have a bank in the Toronto region. When we had our first kid I hadn't really considered donating the blood, but before we had our second, I suggested this to my wife. She wasn't comfortable with the idea, so I didn't push it.

Another point to consider is the health benefits of leaving the cord attached longer, and not taking the blood. From http://parentingsquad.com/when-to-cut-the-umbilical-cord [parentingsquad.com]:

In a recent article in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, experts are suggesting that leaving the cord intact for a longer period would allow more of the umbilical cord blood to flow to the child and may have significant health benefits. The cord blood transports nutrients, oxygen and stem cells to the baby.

So, you need to balance the positives and negatives of letting your child get the benefits now, banking them for potential use later, or donating the blood. There are good arguments for any choice.

There certainly are a lot of "internet experts" who pop up on here with their cheap opinions. There are others on here who don't need to make the choice between saving for our children's education and paying for blood banking, and have no use for lottery tickets. As parents, the choice of how to best raise your child is yours.

CBC's Marketplace. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513395)

. . .did a story on cord blood banks a couple of years ago. Basically, it's expensive and the odds that it will be used are extremely low. Methinks companies are preying on parents' fears.

Read this [www.cbc.ca] and watch this [www.cbc.ca].

Unnecessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513485)

Who needs to worry about storage when it tastes that good?

Don't forget rebates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513499)

When my wife and I were looking for cord blood bank, we found that our OBGYN had a $500 rebate for ViaCord. Ask around!

Donated before, will again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513507)

for #1, it wasn't widely available. For our second kid, it was something like NeoCells/Viacord...I think they were involved in a merger at some point. Anyways, you are buying insurance...so make sure the company is legitimate. Cheap, but too cheap is a warning sign. Pay special attention to the intake procedures, the more expensive ones are more full service, so make sure you do your homework if you're taking on more of the processing. If you happen to have a local bank, you can save a bit on courier fees.
When doing cost comparisons, the storage costs are key...see what kind of discounts exist for paying larger terms.

For our 3rd kid, we will likely just donate the cord blood.

Babies need the blood now more than later (1)

AngelWind (878448) | about 2 years ago | (#39513517)

My wife and I went to a birthing center for our last two boys and received information on letting the cord finish pulsating before the cord is cut. Basically the logic is if you're cutting the cord early your depriving your baby of the blood they need to live and breathe when they are first born. I'd rather they get all their blood now so they can be healthy later, not have their body fight for a bit while they regain the blood they lost from the transfer.

http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/cordNFM.html [gentlebirth.org]

Don't bother (1)

arkham6 (24514) | about 2 years ago | (#39513523)

My wife and I asked our Ob/Gyn and pediatrician about this before the birth of our second child, and both of them said that doing so was a waste of time and money. The cord blood is only good for specific genetic conditions that occur in one out of a hundred thousand live births, while most medical conditions that may occur would be treated without the need for cord blood.

Finally the doctors said that banks play on your emotions as new parents. They said that donating the cord blood would be nice, but a lot of hospitals dont want to deal with the bother and administrative hassle of collecting and shipping.

Ultimately I'd ask your doctors about it and see if they recommend it, but most likely you are just going to be wasting money.

How about in your baby? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39513529)

Seriously. It is called "delayed cord clamping", and there is a wealth of research about the benefits to your child. Basically, you wait until the cord stops throbbing to cut it (about two minutes), and all of that blood gets pumped into your child. Your kid ends up with more iron, minerals, and everything else that sits in your blood. It reduces risk of anemia, sepsis, hemorrhages, etc. The downside is that your OB will have to stick around for a couple more minutes than he wants to. Based on the science, it is a no-brainer, and OB's don't do it essentially out of habit. Based on intuition, /it is your baby's blood/, why wouldn't you want it inside your baby?

Do your research on this. It is cheaper than banking blood, and safer to boot. As one doctor puts it, "if I wouldn't drain 10cc's of blood out of a baby for no reason, why would I clamp the cord early?"

The Academic OB/GYN has a nice summary and list of links to research [academicobgyn.com].

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