Saturday, 19 March 2016

Amazing Facts About Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord

Your baby’s umbilical cord is your baby’s lifeline. 

For the duration of your pregnancy it will nurture your baby and allowing him or her to grow. 

Here are ten amazing facts about umbilical cords:

1. Umbilical cords vary in length. However, the average length of an umbilical cord is 55cm long. [1] 

2. Umbilical cords don’t have nerves. Cutting the cord doesn’t hurt mother or baby.

3. Your baby’s lifeline. The umbilical cord provides your baby with oxygen-rich blood and nutrients while taking away waste and deoxygenated blood.

4. You don’t have to cut it, but you should. “Lotus births” leave the baby attached to the umbilical cord and placenta until the cord dries and breaks naturally. The placenta is wrapped with herbs and spices to mask the smell. However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advise against the practise saying “If left for a period of time after the birth, there is a risk of infection in the placenta which can consequently spread to the baby.[2]

5. You can wait to cut it. Current NICE guidelines recommend waiting to cut the cord for at least one minute unless there are complications.

6. You can’t choose an “innie”. A clamp is attached to your baby’s umbilical cord after it has been cut. With approximately 2cm of umbilical cord remaining attached to your baby, an “innie” or “outie” is determined by how the cord heals, not by how it was cut.

7. It contains approximately 75ml of blood. At 40 weeks gestation blood flows through the umbilical cord at a rate of 64ml / minute / Kg. [3]

8. Cord blood contains stem cells. Umbilical cord blood is the most stem cell rich and least invasive source of stem cells from the human body!

9. Cord blood saves lives! Cord blood can be painlessly and safely harvested for the use in the treatment of over 80 illnesses including cancers, blood disorders and metabolic disorders. Pioneering research is also yielding exciting results for cerebral palsy and brain injuries.

10. You can save it! After birth cord blood is usually discarded with the placenta. However, you can choose to store the cord blood and a portion of the umbilical cord tissue. This would ensure that your baby could benefit from current and emerging therapies in the future should they ever need it. Regenerative medicine is an exciting area of stem cell research, one study estimates that 1 in 3 people could benefit from regenerative therapies in the future. Saving your baby’s cord blood with the UK’s leading cord blood bank, Cells4Life, is easy, safe, and painless. To find out more visit

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