The umbilical cord develops from the yolk sac with the membranes.
It is made up of tissue, Whartons jelly, 2 arteries and 1 vein.
The Wharton she jelly protects the vessels from compression.
The two arteries carry blood containing waste from the baby to the mothers system for removal.
The one vein carry blood with oxygen and nutrients to the baby from the mother.
Rarely the cord develops with only one artery.
The umbilical cord contains stem cells in the blood and tissue.
Cords are all unique, no two are the same. Some variants are true knots, false knots, coiling variations and Wharton jelly variations.
1% of cords have true knots, where the baby's actions inside the womb have looped the cord and knotted it, leaving an actual knot.
35% of baby's are birthed with the cord around their necks.
Delaying the artificial clamping of the cord gives baby the rich stem cell filled blood from the placenta.
The cord has its own natural action to clamp the cord. Once the cord makes contact with our air the Whartons jelly begins to harden and shrink tightening the vessels and slowing their flow until the pulsating ceases. This can take from 3-30 minutes.
The longest cord I have recorded over the last 7 years was 85cms long and the shortest was just 23cms long.
The full length of the cord is reached at around 28 weeks gestation.
Preserving the cord is not new, it has been a tradition in many cultures throughout history.
Now isn't that incredible!!
By Samantha Birch
Under the Birch Tree