Besides having to deliver at a specific hospital, with public banking you choose to relinquish ownership of your baby’s cord blood sample for public use. And unless you meet strict qualifications, your baby’s cord blood could be discarded. Though there is no cost for this generous donation, if your baby needed a stem cell transplant, it could cost up to $45,000 to retrieve them, and only if they find a match!
Banking privately, however, allows you to give birth at any hospital, including comfortably at home with a midwife. Not only is it an easier process overall, you will have peace-of-mind knowing you have rightful access to stored stem cells that are a 100% match to your baby (at a much cheaper cost).
Learn more about the pros and cons of each below.
Public: With public banks, you are limited to delivery at hospitals that handle public cord blood donation. Not every U.S. hospital offers public banking due to funding limitations.
Private: Through private banking you can give birth at any location, using the company’s collection kit, and a medical courier will come to the hospital, pick up your baby’s cord blood/tissue and bring it to their lab.
Public: Once you donate your baby’s stem cells to a public bank you relinquish ownership, and therefore anyone can retrieve your baby’s stem cells.
Private: At a private bank only you can retrieve your baby’s stem cells.
Public: Either due to low funding or low stem cell counts, nearly half of cord blood donations are unusable and discarded.
Private: If for some reason a family has a smaller amount of stem cells than recommended, families still have the option to bank if they choose to do so. No bank can discard your stem cells or discontinue storing them without your permission.
Public: It is free to bank your baby’s cord blood at a public bank and is considered a generous donation for families who may need it. If you are in need of a stem cell transplant, the current average cost to retrieve stem cells is $45,000
Private: Banking at a private cord blood bank is considered an investment in your baby’s future and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for collection, processing and storage. At Maze Cord Blood, we try to make cord blood banking as affordable as possible to as many parents as possible. In order to do so, Maze Cord Blood includes 20 years of free storage in our pricing.
Public: Mothers having multiple babies are not allowed to donate cord blood as “multiples are typically smaller and don’t have enough umbilical cord blood for adult transplants”. Therefore, public banks have a policy of not accepting donations from multiple births.
In addition, if your baby is born prematurely, an immediate family member has had any type of cancer, or if the mother has diabetes and is taking insulin, received an organ or tissue transplant (in the last 12 months), or has a tattoo or piercing in the last 12 months, a public bank will not accept a cord blood donation.
Private: If you are expecting more than one child not only will a private bank collect cord blood from them, most will offer a discount for doing so.
Ultimately the decision of donating your baby’s cord blood to a public bank or paying to store it in a private bank comes down to what is best for you and your family. Learn more about the Maze Advantage.