Readers Weigh In

Why They Didn't

Reader One: "My husband and I chose not to store our babies' cord blood (we have twins) for two reasons: 1) Our twins are identical -- if ever one needs something, the other can help; and 2) Banking cord blood is too expensive."

Reader Two: "I decided not to bank my baby's umbilical cord because it was too expense, but I was seriously considering it."

Reader Three: "I seriously considered and did quite a bit of research on banking, but when I asked my ob-gyn and she said it was a money-making scam unless we had a history of stem-cell disease in our immediate family, I decided against it. She was right on the money with all the other answers she gave us, so I believed her on this. In the end, do what you feel is best. A mom knows."

Reader Four: "I think it's a really good idea to bank the umbilical cord blood -- if you can afford it. It's just not a reasonable cost for the average person. The cost is astronomical! I just couldn't do it."

Reader Five: "It sounded like a great idea, but it was way too expensive for our meager budget to afford up front. Plus there are continued storing costs."

Reader Six: "No, I did not bank the cord blood. I donated it to the San Diego Blood Bank. They use it to help save lots of kids every year. Hopefully if any of my children ever need it, someone else's donation will save them."

Reader Seven: "We did not bank the cord blood. I asked my ob-gyn about some information that was in his waiting room. He said it was a scam, there wasn't much they could do with it yet, it was expensive, and just played on our emotions. I also asked someone from the Diabetes Association if they could use donations of cord blood for research (islet cell therapy research) but was told that the cells they needed were not in cord blood."

Reader Eight: "We decided against keeping the cord blood for our son because our doctor explained that if our son had a disease, the cord blood would have the same disease. The maintenance expense was really too high for us at this time. We decided to try and donate the cord blood since everybody kept saying how valuable it was. Nobody knew where I could donate. The blood centers, hospital, and doctors were clueless. We thought maybe we'd be able to preserve a life. There needs to be more information regarding cord blood storage and/or donation."

Reader Nine: "I did not because it was way out of my budget given the statistical risk of my child needing it. Sad, but those are the kind of decisions we have to make. Besides, I was put off by the cord bank people who seemed to really use scare tactics to sell their services. I tried to donate it but was told by our local bank that they weren't taking any more donations."

Reader Ten: "I did not personally save my child's cord blood (could not afford the cost of storage). I was not going to have any more children after this one anyway. I did, however, donate the cord blood to a local children's hospital so that another child could benefit. I might have considered banking it personally if I could afford it because I know that there could always be a need for the stem cells in the future for my children."

Reader Eleven: "We carefully considered this option. Although a little expensive, it would be a bargain if you ever needed it. All the information I could get from doctors, magazine articles, and the media was that it might prove beneficial to have the cord blood in the future if a close family member were to get leukemia. Since I saw that as a remote chance and there were no other know applications for the cord blood, we decided not to store it. If we were a family of mixed race, we might have decided differently."

Reader Twelve: "I didn't store the blood because I didn't know anything about it. I would have, had I known. I wish my doctor would had something -- it could've really made a difference."

Reader Thirteen: "My husband and I decided not to bank our baby's umbilical cord blood, but rather to let our newborn use it right away. We delayed the clamping of her umbilical cord so that she could receive her cord blood during the natural transfer that occurs after birth. We felt that doing anything else would deny our baby of her own very vital and personal blood supply, and start her off on the wrong foot."

Reader Fourteen: "I decided not to store my baby's umbilical cord blood because after talking with my doctor, we felt some of the companies are just out to get money. I work in the biotech industry and went to school for pre-med and am pretty informed about medical treatments, etc. However, I was interested in donating my baby's cord blood for someone who needed it now instead of in the future. But as far as my doctor and I are aware, this option doesn't exist.

"I do believe in cord blood work. It is a great thing and I would encourage people to consider it. I just didn't want to this time around. If there were a bank for people to donate to, then people wouldn't have to always keep their own because there would be a supply (like regular blood donations)."

Reader Fifteen: "Cord blood theory is great, but at this time it is unaffordable -- and we have a good annual income -- six digits!"

Reader Sixteen: "We decided against it because not only is it expensive, but the chances it can be used by the child are near nothing, or that a sibling can use it are really slim -- and they don't tell you that. These are companies playing to parents' worst fears. It costs a few thousand dollars over the years to do this. We learned that there are places you can donate it to that can actually utilize it, at no cost to you."

Reader Seventeen: "I decided to not bank my child's umbilical cord remains due to security reasons. Since this whole industry is new, I do not feel confident paying someone to 'store' my child's umbilical cord. If a desperate couple came looking for a certain gene or something that can be drawn from my child's umbilical cord, how do I know the storage facility will not sell it to the highest bidder? Also, what about cloning? How can I be sure that someone wouldn't swipe some of my child's DNA to do some secret scientific research?

"I do not trust society with this controversial matter just yet. I do not feel the proper laws have been put into place to protect those who do choose to store umbilical cord remains."

Reader Eighteen: "We decided the money it would cost had such a statistically low chance of ever actually being used, that it would not be worth it. We decided not to let negative thinking ruin us. It worked fine because our baby was healthy, but I still wonder if something had happened, would we have regretted not banking cord blood?"

Reader Nineteen: "We decided to donate it! Hopefully it can help someone. It seemed a shame to waste, and donation was free! I figured it was the right thing to do. Hopefully, someone can benefit."

Reader Twenty: "I looked into saving my baby's umbilical cord at birth, but found it to be quite spendy. If it had been more affordable, I would have probably done it. Also, if our families had a bad medical history or if previous siblings were having problems, then I would have been more inclined to do it."

Reader Twenty-One: "My husband and I did not even think about it at the time. A month or so after, we wondered why the hospital didn't mention it."

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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