As an expectant mother, you are likely to receive many requests from local cord blood private banks that are interested in helping you to bank your baby’s blood. Private options are not your own options. You can also donate to a public facility at no cost to you. Here, it is similar to donating blood. You are giving the cord blood so that anyone that has a need for it can use it safely to help cure their disease or condition. With that said, it is also important for you to take into consideration your own goals and needs for that donation.
If you want to be able to access the cord blood for future use for your child or your family, private cord blood banking is the only way to go. It does cost to do this and it can be quite expensive.
If you want to donate the cord blood so that someone else that needs it can have it, in the same method as you would donate your blood, then public banks are ideal. There is no charge at these facilities.
If you decide to bank your cord blood, you will want to talk to your doctor about doing this by your 34th week of pregnancy. Although it can be done after this point, making arrangements for the process to happen should be done as soon as possible just to allow for time for processing. You can also contact the local blood bank for additional help in making these arrangements.
Finally, there is a real need for all types of women, of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to bank blood publicly. Since each ethnicity has their own specific needs, it is more likely that someone that is in need of cord blood donations to find them if someone of their own heritage has donated. This includes people of all backgrounds including American Indian, Alaska Native, Black and African American, Latino, Pacific Islander and Asian.
The decision to donate cord blood is one that only you can make. No matter if you decide to donate to a private or a public bank, you will want to weigh your choice wisely. Even if you can not use or do not use the blood from your child yourself, you will likely be able to help someone else with a life threatening condition to benefit from it.