On a visit to your obstetrician, you may see an inviting brochure that proposes the possibility of banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood at a private laboratory in case your child develops cancer or blood disease later in life. While this space-age concept sounds appealing, there are many reasons to think twice before shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars for this service. First, the likelihood of your child contracting one of these diseases is very low. Second, it has not been positively proven that cord blood is superior to donor blood for treatment of these illnesses. Third, most of these labs are unregulated, and you just don’t know how (or even if) the blood is stored.
This kind of marketing to new parents can be effective, but until we learn more about the benefits of cord blood and this preservative technology, I suggest you ignore this dubious offer and its appeal to your protective feelings.