The Umbilicus and the Cord Otherwise known as the navel or pusod in Filipino, the umbilical cord is a hole or a depression in the baby’s tummy connecting the long structure likened to a rope to the mother’s womb. It transmits blood, oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to supply the fetus’ needs for survival, thus it is its lifeline.
The umbilical cord is described as follows: • It is made up of 2 arteries that return waste products such as carbon dioxide and deoxygenated blood back to the mother’s placenta and a single vein that brings much-needed oxygenated blood and nutrients from mom to baby.
• The above blood vessels are protected and wrapped around in a thick sticky substance known as Wharton’s Jelly, and the thicker this structure is or the bigger the diameter of the cord, the less likely the vessels become compressed, thus ensuring adequate and continuous blood flow to the baby.
• The average length is 20 inches or around 50 centimeters. Short cords are associated with limited or constrained fetal movements while longer ones are prone to getting entangled with fetal body parts such as a leg, an arm or, more commonly, the neck.
Nuchal Cord Coil (or coiled cord) In the 60’s, a young British physician named Dr. Crawford pioneered an observational study on the different types of cord accidents among in-utero-fetus and its impact on the outcome of delivery: • Type A - cord wrapped around the neck 360 degrees • Type B - true knot that has a more fatal outcome
Click here to learn more about how to detect cord problems during pregnancy.