This week, we’ve been taking a look at a parent’s guide to umbilical cord blood banking. This is the third and final entry in this series, which contains valuable information for those who are considering public or private cord blood banking for their impending child.

Though we have discussed both public and private cord blood banking, there is always a third option available, which is to do nothing. If you go this route, your child’s cord blood will be disposed of as medical waste at birth, rather than being collected and sent to a cord blood bank. There is no single universal answer for all families, so it is important that you do your homework (which you’re already doing by reading this parent’s guide), and discuss what is best for your family.

Private banking is open to virtually anyone, provided that you can afford the cost. Public cord blood banking, on the other hand, is available at no charge to the parent’s, but there are a few criteria the mother must meet to be able to qualify to donate her child’s umbilical cord blood. The qualifications that a mother must meet are as follows:

1) Get in touch with a public umbilical cord blood bank that either accepts donations at the hospital, or via a mail-in kit (which CariCord can provide). If you utilize the mail-in kit, remember that YOU are responsible for bringing it to the hospital when you go to deliver your baby (but feel free to delegate this task to your spouse).

2) The mother must register to donate her child’s cord blood to the bank no later than Week 34 of pregnancy.

3) The mother must pass a health history screening.

If you choose either public or private banking through CariCord, we will send you your collection kit in the mail. Once you take it with you to deliver your baby and the doctor performs the collection, it will be given back to you. Your next step is to call the number we give you and arrange a delivery via medical courier. The process is really very simple and easy, and is definitely worth the small time investment (for public banking) if you can potentially save a life.

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