As I have mentioned before, there is a ton to think about before having a baby. These days with so much information out there, it’s hard NOT to over think things. Especially when you are me. You even find yourself thinking about things that you really didn’t even know you had to think about?? One of those things for me was Cord Blood Donation. I never really thought much about it, and because of the high costs I wasn’t sure if it was for me. But after a friend just did it, and I have gotten more information about it, I really think it’s something that is important for our little Pooh Bear.

As far as I know there are two main options. The first is a private banking company, and the second is a public one. The private company is rather expensive, BUT should you need your babies cord blood you have an exact match. If you go with a public one, if someone matches to your baby and takes your cord blood, then you need it you have to try to find a match with someone else. Not to mention that with private, if you deliver on the weekends they do not come to pick it up. So the question then is, what is important to you???

After a lot of thought I have decided it’s important to donate the cord blood to a private company. I understand that the research is still in it’s early stages, but I don’t want to look back and wish I had done it.I mean look at what stem cells have been found to help cure! (Cord Blood Uses) The cost now could be totally worth it in the future, and I never want to regret that. Your babies cord blood is a perfect genetic match for your baby, and may be a match for siblings and other family members.

CBR vs. Viacord

The two biggest PRIVATE cord blood companies (as far as I know) are Viacord and CBR (Cord Blood Registry).  My friend just used CRB when she had her baby, and highly recommends them. But to be fair I decided to give both companies a call to see about pricing. Both claim to be the best, but what’s the difference?

I called Viacord first. I will say that I wasn’t exactly pleased with their customer service. The man on the phone was nice, and answered my questions, but that was it. He let me off the phone VERY easily which I didn’t think was a good sales tactic. I was told that their fee was $2250 with an annual fixed rate of $125/year. The rate sounded about where I thought they would start, but I was under the impression that they then offer “discounts”. When I asked about this, and told them I received an offer for a discount at CBR, I was told that the only way they give discounts is if I get an offer from my OB. So it didn’t sound like they were going to budge. I am not sure yet about OB discounts, but it’s worth asking.

I called CBR next. I was VERY impressed with their customer service. They gave a lot of information, and the woman I spoke with was very helpful. Their rate was $2195 with a $250 discount from a coupon I found. So that makes the fee $1945 with $125/year. But then she threw in a little bump…she mentioned something called cord tissue donation. What the heck is this??? Basically it’s the “newest” technology that may offer better matching potential and may even allow for bone repair which cord blood does not. With the discounts given for this, and if I did this WITH the cord blood the rate for that would be $720! But I am a little hesitant about this. It’s so new? Will any of this technology really help my child in the future??? I guess no matter what I am always going to be behind in the newest scientific findings.

Here is some info that was sent to me from CBR about the cord tissue…

The Cord Tissue contains a rich source of stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cellswhich have the ability to create structural and connective tissue in the body, as well as repair and regenerate differentiating themselves from hematopoietic stem cells which are found in cord blood and are used in the treatment of diseases. These cells are being used in over 80 clinical trials, showing potential in ligament and bone repair, cartilage regeneration, as well as the re-growth of blood vessels, thus providing hope for heart conditions and stroke. These discoveries are similar to the potential seen in Cord Blood fifteen years ago. Today Cord Blood is treating over eighty diseases. Because of the success of these trials Cord Blood Registry has begun offering this service after over two years of thorough research

Looks like science is going in the right direction. But if you read this it says that the potential in cord tissue is what they saw in cord blood 15 years ago…is the science behind cord blood even that good these days??

The Verdict?

Well I hated Viacords customer service, but I also didn’t like something about CRB. I didn’t like that they were willing to negotiate price ONLY if got a better price from viacord first. See I’m in sales, and one thing my boss (my dad) always tells me to say to a customer is “I’m not in the business of keeping your other vendors honest”. If they were able to give me the discount if Viacord could, then why couldn’t they give it to me in the first place?

So what’s the difference between the two? Well I got so much more info from CBR due to their good customer service so I have more info on them. From what I gather Viacord is an older more well known company. CBR claims to have the newest technology, which supposedly allows them to gather more stem cells from each sample. They also claim to be the only company that store the cord tissue.

So which way are we going? Not sure! I guess you have to look at it as taking out insurance. You hope you don’t get into an accident, but if you do you are certainly glad you have been paying for the insurance.  This definitely is a conversation I need to have with Captain Awesome. It was great to get it all typed out here though. Do any of you have any experience with either of these companies? Any thoughts?