Q&A: banking cord blood

Angie writes:

"What's the deal with banking cord blood?? It seems like crazy money for something there's only a minute chance of ever needing. But then the brochures guilt you into it. Did you bank your kids' blood? What did your readers do?"

I did not bank either of my sons' cord blood. It seemed like too great an expense to me for something that had such a small chance of being needed. But that was just for us. If you have risk factors that make cord blood banking make sense for you, it might be worth looking into. With absolutely no family history of childhood diseases or any of the other things cord blood is used for, it just didn't make sense for us.

One thing that may have made more sense but wasn't possible for us* was cord blood donation. with donation, your child's cord blood is drawn and then sent to a bank where anyone who is a match and needs cord blood can receive it. It's a way of using the cord blood for good even if you personally don't need it. If our situation had been different I'd have strongly considered it.

Did anyone do cord blood banking? If so, why? If not, why not? What about cord blood donation?

* Things were too rushed in the hospital with the birth of my first son so cord blood was not on anyone's mind,and I had my second son in my bathroom as a planned homebirth so there was no way to collect the cord blood.