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Noteworthy Cord Blood Banks in Singapore | Best of Baby 2023

You may have learnt about cord blood banking in Singapore through your appointments to your gynae, and wonder what it is all about. Chances are most parents will find it really expensive as costs can vary from $5,000+ to $9,000+ for enrolment and annual storage fees, but is it really as expensive as it seems? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? We are pretty sure you have a million questions running wildly in your head; same as us when we had our first child. Hence, in this Best of Baby series, we introduce the Noteworthy Cord Blood Banks in Singapore, sharing with you comprehensive information on cord blood banking to make a better informed decision.

History of cord blood banking

Ever since the first successful treatment of a case of Fanconi’s anemia with the use of umbilical cord blood transplant back in 1988,[1] cord blood has been established as a great alternative source of stem cells. The importance of cord blood lies in its ability to be a source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are cells that can mature into different types of blood cells. These stem cells can be used in treating several illnesses and diseases that affect the body’s blood-forming system, such as blood-borne diseases, immune system deficiencies, genetic disorders, metabolic diseases, and cancers.[2] [3] [4] 

Before, both the placenta and umbilical cord are discarded after every delivery. But now that the potential of cord blood and tissue are known to the world, hospitals and OB-GYNs brief expecting mothers about the possible uses of cord blood as a biological insurance. Preserving such a great material for numerous possible treatments is only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which is why cord blood banks stepped in the scene, offering families a way to safeguard their loved ones’ future.

Cord blood banking in Singapore – is it worth it?

cord blood banks singapore

Cord blood banking in Singapore is not cheap, that much is true. However, you must take into consideration that this is a type of investment that can potentially help your child in the future to recover from a life-threatening illness. With cord blood banking, you will have the required material (stem cells) readily available for your child’s treatment, eliminating the waiting time that comes with looking for possible compatible donors. Moreover, since the stem cells will come directly from the placenta and umbilical cord your child was nurtured in, the stem cells are certain to be a perfect match for your child and highly compatible with his or her siblings!

What’s even better is that unlike other forms of stem cell transplantation (such as bone marrow transplantation), using cord blood as a source of stem cells is a lot more advantageous due to the following reasons: cord blood availability, ease of extraction, low-cost acquisition, negligible risk to donor, low chance of receiver rejection/flexible matching, and less chance of graft vs. host infection (GVHI). [3] [4] 

It also helps to know that you can use your child’s Child Development Account (CDA) to pay for the cord blood banking costs! With the government co-matching your CDA top ups, and even increasing the co-matching amount to $6,000 for your second child, you can essentially cover the entire costs of your cord blood banking with CDA. 

If you weigh the advantages versus costs, and factoring in the fact that CDA can help to cover the fees, cord blood banking in Singapore appears to be a worthy investment to undertake. Should you have an alternative plan for your child’s CDA account, and choose to take up paying the fees yourself, it may still even be worth it. If you translate the costs from a one-time fee to a monthly figure, you will end up paying around $23-35/month, which seems like a decent amount (consider Netflix + Spotify + Disney+). At the end of the day, just be sure to ensure it makes financial sense for you and your family!

To help you further with deciding to take up on cord blood banking or not, here’s an overview of cord blood banking in Singapore.

Cord blood banking in Singapore: Public vs. Private

As of now, there are two types of cord blood banks available in Singapore: public and private. Here’s a quick comparison of the two:

  • The public cord blood bank, Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB), does not charge any fees for storage of cord blood. These cord blood units are donated and provide for the public’s needs. Units stored in public cord blood banks are free to use by anyone who matches the stem cells. There is a waiting line in getting stem cells from public cord blood banks, since a certain match must be found first among all units stored. Usually, donors can acquire cord blood units for free, while non-donors need to pay a fee. It is worth noting that SCBB also has private cord blood banking options.
  • Private cord blood banks charge a monthly or yearly fee for storage. This type of banking is also called family cord blood banking, since the cord blood is readily available for your family’s use. Units are stored privately, and only you and your family have the jurisdiction over its use. 

There have been reports of stem cell fraud cases, where companies advertise the use of cord blood as a treatment for some diseases that do not involve blood stem cell regeneration.[2]  Thus, it is vital to check the company’s track record, license, accreditation, and current performance or technology, before choosing a cord blood bank. This way, you can ensure that your investment is safe and secured.

This article was last updated on 10 January 2023.

Noteworthy Cord Blood Banks in Singapore

1. StemCord

cord blood banks singapore stemcord

Built on medical expertise to offer hope

Founded in 2002, StemCord offers the processing and preservation of cord blood stem cells. The company is founded by licensed and experienced practicing medical oncologists, haematologists, and physicians, continuing the path of upholding the high standards in the field of cord blood banking even after almost 20 years.

With over 40,000 cord blood and/or tissue units stored (dated last 2017), StemCord continuously improves their services through the use of latest technologies and techniques in order to offer the best service possible.

stemcord fact badge

MOH-licensed and internationally accredited by FACT-NetCord

 All cord blood banks within the country are required to be audited and licensed by the Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), and StemCord is no exception. But StemCord goes the extra mile—they set their sights on international accreditation.

The company was awarded four times with an international accreditation by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and NetCord for their services and facilities. 

 StemCord meets the most stringent of standards in cord blood collection, processing, testing, banking, selection, and release of cord blood units. They have fully-equipped laboratories, utilizing sepaxⓇ fully-automated systems and multiple cryogenic storage units, where your cord blood units are stored safely. 

stemcord storage

Cord blood & tissue banking with unique storage for better service and extra security

Besides cord blood banking services, StemCord also provides cord stem cell banking – stem cells extracted & cultured from umbilical cord tissue. The difference between cord blood and cord stem cells is that the former is a great source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), while the latter contains abundant mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Research indicates that these MSCs are capable of possible treatment of conditions of damaged tissue such as heart, nerve, cartilage, bone, muscle, liver, cartilage, and fat tissue. 

StemCord stores cord blood in 2 different cryo bags giving clients the flexibility to use the stem cells more than once and maximising the potential for multiple treatments. Besides, StemCord provides added security by storing the cord blood units in 2 separate storage facilities. 

As for cord stem cells processing, StemCord will process, isolate, culture and cryopreserve the stem cells in ISO 5 Cleanroom before storage ensuring that the quality cells are readily available for treatment when needed.  

What is the cost of cord blood banking & cord stem cells banking?

Cord blood storage is a long-term commitment that can last for up to 21 years. With StemCord, there is a onetime upfront fee of $1,400 and annual storage fee can cost you around $23-35/month. This payment already encompasses processes, equipment, facilities, and personnel. 

Additionally, offset to cord blood banking costs is also possible via Baby Bonus Scheme’s Child Development Account (CDA). 

StemCord’s cord blood banking packages automatically come with four bonus covers, offering an added security in terms of finances:

  • StemCord Transplant MediCare – $50,000 to defray medical costs for stem cell transplant
  • StemCord QualityPlus – $75,000 to defray cost of procuring an alternative stem cell source
  • StemCord Care21 – coverage for your child’s cord blood for up to 21 years
  • StemCord AssuredPlus – offers confirmatory assurance test when the cord blood is released

Terms & conditions apply

stemcord cbb process

Easy banking process with StemCord

Banking with StemCord is made easy with their streamlined process. Scheduling an appointment is encouraged at the start of the 3rd trimester, which can be done online. You can even request for an information kit here.

During the appointment, a thorough consultation and discussion with a friendly consultant happens, so the parents are well-informed about the implications and processes of cord blood banking. After the enrollment process, a collection box will be provided, which you will take to the hospital on the day of your baby’s delivery.

It is vital to also let your attending doctor know that you enrolled for cord blood collection, or if you have signed up for both cord blood and cord stem cell collection as the doctor will be the one performing the collection and  the nurses in the delivery suite will prepare the necessary equipment and steps to use the cord blood collection kit. On the day of delivery, simply pass the collection box to the nurse or attending doctor. A 24-hour hotline is available to reach StemCord upon delivery, and arrangement will be made by the hospital for StemCord staff  to pick up the cord blood unit to transfer it to the laboratory for processing and storage.

To know more about StemCord Cord Blood and Cord stem Cells Banking services, watch their informative video below:

Check out StemCord for cord blood banking in Singapore >
stemcord logoStemCord | (65) 6741 2002
6 Napier Road #02-13, Singapore 258499
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Congratulations on your pregnancy, and wishing both mum and baby the best of health! Do share this with your friends and family members who may find this guide useful. Hope you enjoy your experience in your chosen maternity hospital in Singapore!