I do plan to donate to the public cord blood bank if that's something my hospital participates in, but I will not bank it privately.
After reading about it it seemed like that's where it would do the most good - as Maureen says, banking your child's cord blood isn't all that likely to help him/her for the reasons she described -- any genetic diseases your child may have requiring stem cell treatment, his/her own stem cells would have that same genetic flaw.
And privately banking it for potential use by future children - another reason parents give for private banking - also isn't that effective, as there's not a huge likelihood of a good genetic match.
If everyone donated to the public banks we would all potentially benefit from that larger pool of genetically varied stem cells.
"The cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, it does not affect the baby or the birth experience and does not alter routine practice for the timing of umbilical cord clamping.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages families to donate their newborn’s cord blood, which is normally discarded at birth, to public cord blood banks for use by other individuals in need."
This is incorrect. Donating a baby's cord blood absolutely affects the baby as it deprives the baby of up to 1/3 of his blood. This can result in a host of problems for the newborn and can take up to six months for the baby to make that blood back. To donate the blood, the cord must be clamped immediately following delivery. The only reason donating does not alter routine clamping times is that it is not yet standard practice to wait until the cord stops pulsating. The research in this area is very clear. Too bad it takes the AAP so long to catch on.
Furthermore, if you do decide to donate your baby's cord blood, it is important to know that only 25% or less of donations actually get "banked" for donation. The rest are discarded if not enough blood is collected.
Why not speak up to the physician and specify that you would like your baby to rightfully receive its needed blood, so the cord is not to be clamped early. For further information, check out this great website http://www.theholisticparent.org/Cord_Blood_Donation.html
We are planning on banking our baby's blood this time around. But only because our 7yo was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma 2 1/2 years ago. This is baby #6 for us, and we have never even considered it in the past, but it is a no-brainer for us this time. It helps that, because of her diagnosis, we are eligible for 5 years of banking for free, but even if that weren't the case, we would still do it. The chances of us actually needing it are still small since she is currently in remission, but you never know if you might need it. Never in a million years did we ever think we would have a child diagnosed with cancer. You never know what the future holds.