After doing a ton of reading, it was clear that there is absolutely no reason for me to bank cord blood. Cord blood banking is expensive, and unless you have a family history of leukemia, sickle cell disease, or other genetic troubles there is absolutely no reason for you to shell out that kind of cash. But it does seem a shame to let all those stem cells go to waste.
So donate it. That's what we did.
After Zane entered the world, my very fantastic and patient OB collected the sample (x liters!) and boxed it all up in a donation kit that was provided for us. Ryan called the number on the kit and they sent a currier to pick it up. It was easy, painless, and that blood either went to help some poor child who could use it or to a lab where they will play with it to come up with new medical solutions. Either way, someone wins. Why would you bank it and spend all that money when you could actually help someone (or multiple someones)? Go here to read more.
Yes, you can donate this too.
I make more then Zane needs, and now that my emergency stash in the freezer is built back up I don't mind setting some excess aside for other babies who need it.
I donate through the International Milk Bank Project. At least 25% of the milk I send them goes to help infants in Africa who are suffering from malnourishment, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. The rest is distributed by Prolacta to premature and critically ill babies here in America. They are the only distributor of human milk formula made from 100% human milk. The funds they raise selling the pasteurized breast milk to hospitals go to further their efforts in Africa.
Donating breast milk is a bit tricky and the process to get approved and set up was long and a bit of a pain in the ass. But they try to be as helpful as they can, and walk you through every step.
If you're not on the registry, you should be.
Go here (http://www.marrow.org/) and request a kit. You swab your cheek, send it back to them. You're now on the list of potential lifesavers.
It's obvious, but if you can you should donate. The Red Cross lists local collection sites.
Is that little box on your drivers license checked? As morbid as it is, you should talk to your family about what to do with your bits when you're done with them. And make sure it's in your will. Don't forget to discuss eye and tissue (aka skin, bone, and heart valves) donations.