Not every baby trend, such as tiny high-heeled shoes, is one you should necessarily jump on board with. But a recent one that you should definitely consider is banking cord blood from your newborn's umbilical cord. It may seem costly and unnecessary, but advancements in medicine are proving over and over that choosing to store your baby's cord blood could someday help save her or someone else's life.

Costs

The costs of banking cord blood range depending on individual banks. There is an initial first-year processing fee that can cost you $1400 to $2500 upfront. After that, there is an annual storage fee that can run anywhere from $100-$180 per year for about 20 years, at which time you can reevaluate and either dispose of the blood or continue to store it. Payment plans are available, however, including no-interest installments as well as discounts for paying upfront.

Private Storage

These costs are associated with private cord blood banks. Private storage facilities collect cord blood from a wide variety of hospitals. The main benefit of storing with a private bank is that the blood belongs to your family only and can't be used by anyone else. While this assures that the blood is there should your child need it, the chances that your child will need it before her 20th birthday are only about 1 in 5,000. But that statistic is based on the ways cord blood is used today, not the ways it could be used in five or ten years. Plus, your child's blood has a 1 in 4 chance of being a perfect match for her sibling should he become ill. Medicine is constantly evolving as researchers find new ways that cord blood can save lives.

Public Storage

Storing your child's cord blood with a public bank is free. However, anyone can have access to your child's cord blood. So let's say another child you've never met is ill and your child's cord blood is a match for her; her family can choose to use it to save her life. Then if your child ends up needing the cord blood, it won't be there. In addition, public banks only take cord blood from certain hospitals, making it harder for you to have the cord blood stored in the first place.

Future Health

Cord blood is being used to treat everything from diabetes to leukemia to metabolic disorders and is currently being studied in children with cerebral palsy. Stories of children being cured of cancer from cord blood are popping up on the news. But what's even more amazing is the story of a young girl who nearly drowned and was left in a vegetative state. Her cord blood gave her back her life. And there's no telling where research will take us in the near future.

If you have the option of banking your child's cord blood, it is something to seriously consider. You can find out more information by talking to your OB/Gyn or by visiting cordblood.com.