Cord banking: An investment in a child's healthy future

Cord banking is an investment made during birth which can help a child later in life. (Source: WAFF)
Cord banking is an investment made during birth which can help a child later in life. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Many people will tell you that banking is a sound investment in your future. There is another type of banking that invests in the future health of your children - cord banking.

Debbie Leeth is the Vice President of Finance and Operations for Southern Cord.

"Cord blood is the umbilical cord blood. Once the child is delivered, that's the blood that is still in the umbilical cord and that is what is stored," Leeth said.

That's exactly what Cindy and David Wester did for their three children: 3-year-old Christopher, and twins Kaitlyn and Vicky. Cindy said it's the right thing to do.

"I think cord blood banking is an investment in your child's future. And one of the main reasons we chose to do it, was because we were watching David's father go through Parkinson's Disease. We knew that Parkinson's has been undergoing stem cell research for a very long time, and it is one of the diseases which is also hereditary. So when your pregnant, that of course is a major fear."

Leeth said it can even be used now to fight some medical maladies.

"Right now it's proven that there are over 70 diseases and disorders that it can be used for," she said.

The cost is not as prohibitive as some people might think.

"We paid approximately $1400 for each of the twins, and I think it was about $300 more when Christopher was born, but the prices have come down", said West.

There is also a $100 annual charge for storage. There is a kit which goes into the delivery room along with Mom. Once it's taken in there, the doctor actually snips the cord, puts it into a bag and someone from Southern Cord comes to retrieve it later.

"A parent wants to do everything in their power to protect their child against the evils in the world whether they be medical evils or anything else. And this is one step that you can take to alleviate some of the fears", said West.

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