I am going to have first child soon and read a lot about cord blood. While childbirth, after child is already cut off then doctor takes some blood from umbilical cord. Companies which are banking this blood says that it can cure many diseases for child, sibling and sometimes even parents and grandparents. However on some other websites I found that even leukemia in many cases can't be cured by this 'magic blood' and donor needs to be found. Is there any truth behind the claims made by these companies? It's not really cheap but I don't want to regret in future.
If you read the fine print, there are actually not a lot of conditions where your baby's cord blood has been proven to do anything, and most of the beenfits are for other people's children.
Here are some professional medical opinions; they agree; public banking is fine, private banking is not recommended.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists makes the following recommendations regarding umbilical cord blood banking:
Umbilical cord blood collected from a neonate cannot be used to treat a genetic disease or malignancy in that same individual (autologous transplant) because stored cord blood contains the same genetic variant or premalignant cells that led to the condition being treated.
The routine collection and storage of umbilical cord blood with a private cord blood bank is not supported by the available evidence.
The current indications for umbilical cord blood transplantation are limited to select genetic, hematologic, and malignant disorders.
Private umbilical cord blood banking may be considered when there is knowledge of a family member with a medical condition (malignant or genetic) who could potentially benefit from cord blood transplantation.
Public umbilical cord blood banking is the recommended method of obtaining umbilical cord blood for use in transplantation, immune therapies, or other medically validated indications.
Families of all ethnicities and races should consider the societal benefit of public umbilical cord blood donation to increase the availability of matched cord blood units for people of all backgrounds.
Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should be aware of state and local laws regarding umbilical cord blood banking, including the law in some states that requires physicians to inform patients about umbilical cord blood banking options.
Health care providers with a financial interest in private umbilical cord blood banking should disclose these interests, incentives, or other potential conflicts of interest.
If a patient requests information about umbilical cord blood banking, balanced and accurate information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of public and private umbilical cord blood banking should be provided.
A variety of circumstances may arise during the process of labor and delivery that may preclude adequate collection.
Umbilical cord blood collection should not compromise obstetric or neonatal care or alter routine practice of delayed umbilical cord clamping with the rare exception of medical indications for directed donation.
It is important to inform patients that the medical condition of the woman or neonate may prevent adequate umbilical cord blood collection.
Treatments using cordblood are legitimate but as @swbarnes2 has said, there are limited benefits to your child. Because if they have genetic weakness, then their own cord blood will also have that weakness. (Which is probably the case where you were reading about leukemia)
That being said, you (the father or mother) may be able to use the cordblood for yourself or if you have another child it may be useful to have for them and vice versa.
FWIW here is the NZ Midwife (largly unbiased) advice on the matter.
There is also the hope that more stem cell treatments will become available in the future. Say to treat senescence (old age) which would be amazing! But be cautioned, this is just a hope and may not happen.
You only get one chance to get the blood, and there is only a small chance you, your child or other children will use it, but it will be very useful if you do. So it is kinda like an insurance policy or a risky investment.
It is therefore important to weigh up the value of the cordbanking vs some other investment.
For example if cord banking costs $5,000
If you invested that $5k in an index fund on behalf of your child (lets assume a moderate 8% return).
They could end up with $35k, when they turn 25 (say, to go towards a house deposit)
Or $735k when they retire (65)
A solid $735k could pay for a lot of other medical treatment, that cordblood may not be able to help with.
A $5k investment, is almost guaranteed to be moderately useful vs cord blood which has a low chance of be useful, but could be very useful if it is.
So I would go with both if you can afford it, otherwise go with a hands off index fund investment instead.