How to: Choose a Cord Blood Bank

Once you have made the decision to invest in your family’s future by banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood, begin the search for the right cord blood bank. There are numerous cord blood banks all over the country that serve as storage facilities for this essential item, so make your decision prudently. Many parents find this search daunting, simply due to the sheer number of facilities available. To avoid picking a cord blood bank that may not meet your wants and needs, we suggest that you consider the following factors when making your decision.

Price: This is a main issue to most parents, since it is not cheap to bank cord blood. However, many cord blood banks have specials depending on the need of the child or the family, so be sure to do your homework before you decide. Most cord blood banks offer dramatically reduced rates – or even free storage – if your new baby or another child is thought to need a transplant immediately. Otherwise, the best way to determine price is to contact private cord blood banks to determine if their rates are within your budget. Keep in mind that cord blood storage acts as an insurance policy for your family, so consider any other factors before immediately determining not to store your child’s cord blood simply because of price. Some companys regularly offer coupons both online and at doctors’ offices, and many cord blood banks can provide payment plans as well.

Location: There are private cord blood banks all over the country, so you are sure to find one near your home. Furthermore, many hospitals work in cooperation with private cord blood banks, especially those that specialize in birthing babies, so ask your doctor, nurse, or midwife about this option. Once you have identified a private cord blood bank in your area, make an appointment to visit and discuss your options with the bank’s professional staff. These trained and knowledgeable individuals will be able to answer any and all questions concerning cord blood storage and the fees and tasks associated with the storage. Furthermore, the facility will identify a method for collecting the cord blood, as private cord blood banks often work in cooperation with a hospital on this issue.

Reputability: In many instances, this search will provide you with numerous options, but how can you ensure the facility is reputable and working in your best interest? The answer rests in the hands of the American Association of Blood Banks, the AABB. This association regularly inspects blood banks all over the country, providing an accredited status much like that provided in the college and university system. Before you decide on a specific cord blood bank, contact the AABB to determine if the private blood bank is accredited or if it has any complaints lodged against the facility by other patrons. Think of the AABB as the final word that you can trust in whether or not the cord blood bank in your location is reputable and worthy of your child’s valued cord blood.

After you have considered these three main aspects regarding the storage of your child’s cord blood, the final decision should be less imposing than attacking the decision blindly. Be sure to keep an open mind during your search to find a facility that works well with your situation. The internet is a perfect research tool, as a quick and simple web search will provide you with countless options for private cord blood banks all over the country–and all over the world. Before you decide against this option, make the time to speak with a professional at one of these banks in order to make the most informed decision about the medical promises that cord blood can offer to your baby or another child in your family. Finally, if you decide against banking your baby’s cord blood, consider donating the blood to a public cord blood bank for research purposes and public use.

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