What is the umbilical cord?

What is the umbilical cord?

I train during first weeks of pregnancyI measure 55 centimeters on average and I make sure of that vital exchange between the mother and her future baby: I am? The umbilical cord of course! The umbilical cord is the essential organ of pregnancy the fetus to placenta.

When does it form?

the umbilical cord arises during the first trimester of pregnancybetween the 4th and 8th week of pregnancy under the influence of the development of the amniotic cavity.

What role does it play during pregnancy?

Connected to the placentathe umbilical cord takes care of them vital exchange necessary for the development of the future baby. It thus allows:

to deliver nutrients (Mineral salts, amino acids etc.) and to supply the fetus with oxygen through the umbilical vein

eliminate waste (carbon dioxide, urea) through the umbilical arteries.

What is it connected to?

the umbilical cord Connect the baby to placenta :

– On the fetal side, it is inserted at the level of the navel that means from future navel,

– On the placenta side, it adheres to the fetal side of the placenta.

What is it made of?

of color yellowish white and gelatinous appearanceThe umbilical cord is made up of connective tissue and blood vessels. It consists :

– a coating comparable to that amniotic membrane (the amnion)

– of a Connective tissue called “Wharton’s Jelly” which envelops the umbilical cord vessels and protects them from possible pressure.

– from from themumbilical arteriesthat carry blood from the fetus to the placenta,

– of a Vein, larger than the arteries, allowing oxygenated placental blood to be returned to the fetus.

“The umbilical cord brings oxygenated blood to the fetus via the great vein and returns deoxygenated blood to the placenta through both arteries,” confirms Dr. Multon.

Morphological anomalies of the cord

Some cords may be too short, others too long, too thin or too “thick”.

A cable that is too short

Even if there is one fairly rare anomaly (1% of pregnancies), an umbilical cord that is too short, i.e. less than 30 centimeters in length, leads to complications:

– Where from during birth : prolongation of the duration of labour, abnormalities in the development of the baby, abnormal heart rhythms in the fetus, etc.

“The baby will have more difficulty getting out, which may be required Caesarean section confirms dr. Multon. This anomaly can be associated with a reduction in the size of the uterine cavity, for example if there is not enough amniotic fluid (oligoamnias).

A cable that is too long

On the contrary, some cords can be too long and measuring more than 70 centimeters (6 to 7% of births) or even one meter.

This type of anomaly will favor the knots, the circular ones – that is, the wrapping of the umbilical cord around a part of the fetus’ body – or even the umbilical cord prolapse, confirms the specialist.

A thin cord

A string that is too thin, i.e. less than 1 cm in diameter, can accompany one intrauterine growth retardation.

Too thick cable

An umbilical cord that is too thick, that is to say with a diameter of more than 2 cm, often has an edematous appearance and is generally without consequences for the baby.

cord prolapse

It is about ” umbilical cord prolapse during childbirth, when a loop of the umbilical cord falls into the vagina in front of the fetus. A relatively rare phenomenon as it affects between 0.33 and 0.66% of births. prolapse is said:

– 1st degree: when the umbilical cord remains in the vagina at the level of the cervix,

– 2nd degree: when the cord reaches the vulva,

– 3rd degree: when the umbilical cord is outside the vulva.

“During labor, the fetus compresses the vessels of the umbilical cord with each uterine contraction, which can lead to a lack of oxygen (fetal hypoxemia) and need an emergency caesarean section,” explains Dr. Multon.

Insertion abnormalities

It also happens that the cord is incorrectly inserted into the placenta. For example we will talk edge bet when the umbilical cord is inserted within 1.5 cm of the placental margin. Velamentous placental insertion denotes again a Inserting the cord onto the membranes, apart from the chorionic plate, that is, the fetal surface of the placenta. A relatively rare birth defect (1% of pregnancies) more commonly associated with fetal malformations, a single umbilical artery, and intrauterine growth retardation.

umbilical doppler

In case of intrauterine growth retardation, a sonographer can perform an umbilical doppler. This painless examination, which is part of the ultrasound, allows the blood flow in the arteries to be examined using ultrasound. “This gives information about the Quality of exchange between the placenta and the fetus, which is essential for the baby’s proper growth by measuring blood flow in one of the arteries of the umbilical cord, recalls the National College of Obstetrician Gynecologists (CNGOF). It allows using biometrics to track that good growth of the fetus. When the quality of the blood flow is poor, it can have detrimental consequences for the baby’s development.”

Cutting the umbilical cord: when should it be cut?

At the time of birth, the umbilical cord has no further use for the newborn, whose lungs fill with air and who can now breathe independently. Therefore, it is usually cut before deliveryThat means Expulsion of the placenta. The midwife or obstetrician-gynecologist places two clamps (clamps) about four inches apart on the umbilical cord to stop blood flow, and then uses scissors to cut between the two clamps. Be assured, Since the umbilical cord is not innervated, the gesture is completely painless for the newborn! While it has long been customary to clamp it a few seconds after birth, studies now recommend it later clamping. “At birth, the baby suddenly has to breathe on his own, which is a bit complicated for him and his oxygen levels can vary,” explains Dr. Oliver Multon. Your heart continues to send blood to the placenta, which has not yet separated from the uterine wall. By leaving the cable on for a few minutes – until the intracordonal circulation– the newborn can benefit from an additional oxygen supply and a beneficial blood supply in order to avoid iron deficiency.” Late clamping is all the more relevant in the context of premature birth.

When does the baby’s umbilical cord fall?

After the birth, the midwife will apply what are known as sterile forceps «Pinch the Barr» about 2 cm from the newborn’s abdomen. This clamp ensures a fixed drawstring closure as well as hemostasis i.e. stop the flow of blood. The remnants of the umbilical cord then dry out and fall off after about ten days, giving way to the navel. After the cable falls off, continue cleaning care until complete healing of the navel.

What happens to a newborn’s umbilical cord after birth?

If most often the umbilical cord is thrown away after childbirth, some maternity hospitals specialize in it Collection of umbilical cord blood (see box). The stem cells contained in this blood can then be used to treat a sick patient leukemia. Ask your midwife or gynecologist for more information.

Donation of umbilical cord blood

Some mothers accept Donation of umbilical cord blood Umbilical cord. “The rehearsal takes place in the minutes after birth, when the umbilical cord has just been cut and the placenta is still in the uterus, specifies the Biomedicine Agency. He is totally pain free and poses no risk to either the baby or the mother as it does not alter the medical birth gestures”. Blood stem cells are obtained and used to treat patients suffering from blood pathologies such as leukemia or lymphoma.

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