Cord Blood Banking- which company to use? did you do it?(7 Posts)
Hi I am really thinking about banking cord blood. I have the option of banking the blood or the actual cord as well and was wondering what your experience was like with the company you chose (and costs!) - the companies I am considering are:
Virgin Health Bank
Future Health Technologies
Smart Cells International
UK Cord Blood Bank
Do you have experience with any of these? How was/is it?
We used Smartcells International.
We were very happy with everything, although I delivered at a private hospital (J&L as was) and the midwife there did the extraction etc (after ELCS - we told the surgeon beforehand). J&L had a licensing agreement with Smartcells, Portland did too, I guess that some others will too. If you are going NHS, then your partner needs to be prepared for doing the extraction and arranging the courier etc (although Smartcells will provide a phlebotomist at extra cost.... We had one on standby incase I delievered early at an NHS hospital).
So, in addition to cost and reputation, you want to look at "practicality" too.
Can't remember cost.... £1200/£1600 including. 25 years storage? Something like that, but it was Jan 2010. You should check with the companies directly...
Meant to add - don't suppose we will know exactly how good they are until, God forbid, we need the cells retrieved....
Thanks QT- I am delivering at the Portland, and so perhaps Smart Cells is the way to go.. did you bank the cord blood alone or the cord blood and the actual cord (which is an option from some providers)?
That makes life a LOT easier!
Speak to the Portland and ask which providers they have an agreement with (that's what we did with J&L) - that SHOULD narrow down your list a little. They cannot recommend companies, though, just say that they have an agreement and tell you what they will do for the process (should do the collection, but you may well need to still arrange the courier - although Portland may do it all for you).
With Smartcells we didn't have the option of the cord, just the blood. However that was 18 months ago - things may well have changed... I know that they have added things to their service since, but cannot remember what...
The best thing, which we did 18 months ago, is to do your research and compare what the different companies offer (and the likely value). From what I remember, they do differ.... Smartcells seemed the best option at the time, to me, but a lot can change in 18 months...
Have you considered delayed cord clamping? If you opt for this then the cord is not clamped immediately, but allowed to stop pulsating - which gives time for the newborn baby to gain additional blood and iron stores (recent estimates in the BMJ suggest 3 months worth of iron) amongst other advantages. There's more info here.
I have seen suggestions that it would be possible to delay cord clamping and still get sufficient blood for storage, but when I tried to ask a cord cell storage company if this was possible they never replied. I don't know if you're planning a CS, but it is possible to have delayed cord clamping as part of a surgical birth.
Hope it goes smoothly, whatever you decide
We used Virgin Health Bank last time and have gone back to them this time. Their customer service has been excellent both times and the price came down significantly in the intervening three years.
We chose Virgin because a) it's a brand we trust and b) the option to keep some of the cord blood for yourself and make the rest available to others. Hopefully we won't ever need it, but someone else might.
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