Banking Umbilical Cord Blood

The miraculous process of childbirth is a thing of joy for families worldwide. This process culminates the nine months of conception that births life; however, it entails many other processes that barely get any attention, such as banking umbilical cord blood.

Most people seem to overlook the actual process of childbirth but enjoy the beauty of life, and that isn't a bad thing. With the constant innovation in science, childbirth has come with another benefit which the medical world refers to as cord blood banking. This process is said to utilize every possible aspect of childbirth and has now become a trend amongst new-age parents.

In this post, we would focus on cord blood banking and look at all that it entails. This would better enlighten you on the meaning, pros, and cons of this particular process in modern childbirth practices.

Cord Blood: A new stem source?

When the term cord blood is mentioned, we talk about the blood that remains after the umbilical cord has been severed after childbirth. This blood is immediately collected and stored for stem cell transplant—this blood is rich in stem cells and contains lots of hematopoietic stem cells.

With lots of research focusing on utilizing stem cells in treating cancers and immunodeficiencies, it has been a well-discussed topic in the science field.

What is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord blood banking entails the process of medically collecting stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta of new birth and storing them to save lives in the future. This process alienating to the world a few years ago is now becoming accepted by parents as we try to build a world rid of life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Parents are now signing up for their child's cord blood to be taken and stored. Although most people are still finding this method hard to latch onto, we may see a wide acceptance as more research and findings on the benefits of cord blood banking are being discovered.

How Does Cord Blood Banking Work?

The process of undertaking cord blood banking must begin right from the early stages of pregnancy. Cord blood banking can't be undertaken under a short period as a registration period, and an enlightenment program has to be undertaken in banking umbilical cord blood.

Once registration has been done, the rest is left to the cord blood bank and the healthcare worker to facilitate the process.  To make this a success, a few steps have to be followed to assure a successful cord blood bank harvest.

6 Steps to Follow

A cord blood kit is sent to the parents.

The kit is then given to the healthcare workers before childbirth

The mother's blood is collected to check for infections

After childbirth, the healthcare worker collects the baby's cord blood from the umbilical cord

The parents go home with the cord blood kit consisting of the mother's blood sample and cord blood.

The parents contact the cord blood bank, and the cord blood is successful transferred to the cord bank

cord blood banking diagram

Benefits of Stem Cells for the Family

Stem cells play a vital role in helping those in need of a transplant get a replacement. However, the cord blood banking process takes away the problem of looking for a suitable donor. Since the body is designed to fight outside contaminants, a stem cell that doesn't match the receiver most times can be deadly.

This is why cord blood banking gives the baby and family members a chance to find a match for stem cell donation.

banking umbilical cord blood

Types of Cord Blood Banking

When it comes to umbilical cord blood banking, there are two ways through which parents can store and utilize the blood, namely private and public cord blood banking.

* Private Cord Blood Banking

Private cord blood banking is designed to store the baby's cord blood for the baby and family members.

* Public Cord Blood Banking

Unlike private cord blood banking, parents donate the baby's cord blood to a public cord bank and make it available for others and research purposes.

Storage Period for Cord Blood

Since storing cord blood is to help better the life of a child, family members, or perfect matches, the storage period of the blood needs to have a very long shelf life. Based on the most recent storage and use of cord blood, it can be stored for 23.5 years and still provide enough stem cells for transplant.

However, recent research still believes that it is better to use cord blood within 15 to 16 years of storage, but cryogenic storage can allow the cord blood to last for life.

Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking

  • Extracting umbilical cord blood poses less risk than a bone marrow transplant
  • There are no known risks to the collection of cord blood
  • Cord blood has a long storage period
  • Cord blood stem cells are suitable for patients with cancer
  • It gives perfect matches a chance at a better life


  • Storage can be costly, especially for private cord blood banks
  • There is a selective process for cord blood donation, unlike with bone marrow
  • The stem cells available in cord blood isn't sufficient for an adult

Cost of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

The cost for cord blood banking varies because it depends on whatever channel you decide to take. For those who have decided to go through the public banking route, the cost of cord blood banking is almost nothing, and in some cases, it is free.

However, those who prefer to use private cord blood banking have a cost for the storage facility that may well be beyond the means of many everyday families. The private cord blood banks charge around $1500 - $3000, with ongoing storage fees which range from $100 to $125 annually.


Umbilical cord banking is an innovation that is here to stay! This medical process is now widely accepted, and although we can't deny this process comes with its pros and cons, we still can't wait to see how far it would evolve.