Anja Health is the first POC, womxn-owned cord blood bank. Our founder, Kathryn Cross, founded Anja Health because of her younger brother, Andrew, who she named the company after. Andrew had cerebral palsy and could have benefitted from cord blood stem cells, but unfortunately, her family couldn't find a match. Nevertheless, because of Andrew, Kathryn makes sure that Anja parents are the priority: Anja pushes to be the most informative, accessible, and easy-to-use cord blood bank in the industry. There are a few ways in which cord blood banks claim to differentiate:
- The number of compartments that are used to store the cord blood. Some banks claim that they are superior to others for using 2 vs. 5 compartments to store cord blood. However, in reality, banks are simply comparing 2 large compartments to 5 small compartments, ultimately storing the same volume of cord blood and making this a moot point. Anja Health's lab uses 5, but a claim that this is superior would simply be a marketing tactic.
- Price. Many cord blood banks require upfront payments of $500+. HealthBanks does offer an affordable $19.99/month monthly plan. However, this $19.99/month is for life. Anja Health offers $35/month for 8 years or an upfront payment, and this covers 20 years of storage. Ultimately, HealthBanks results in $19.99*12*20=$4800 at the end of 20 years vs. Anja Health's $35*8*12=$3360 at the end of 8 years to include 20 years of storage. When comparing all banks' 20 year storage deals, Anja is undoubtedly the cheapest option.
- Processing. Cord blood banks either process stem cells manually or automatically. This means that they either process it by hand in a lab or with automated machines in a lab. Processing manually results in almost 25% more stem cells being recovered and up to 80% less red blood cells contaminating the sample, so Anja Health processes manually.
- Stem cell count. Stem cell yields are completely dependent on individual factors (i.e. if an umbilical cord is especially long, if a placenta is especially large, if the mother decides to delay cord clamping, etc.), so average stem cell yield does not reflect a lab's performance. It merely reflects average client birth plans and body types. Similar to compartment size, stem cell count statistics are merely a marketing tactic.
- Placenta banking. Very few banks offer placenta banking as it requires a more advanced lab. Anja Health's lab is fortunate enough to have the resources to offer placenta banking.
- User experience. Anja Health prioritizes client experience and guarantees a response via text or call within maximum 12 hours at any time of day and for any reason. We try to minimize clients' stress because we know what a busy time pregnancy can be.