4 extraordinary functions of the umbilical cord that every pregnant woman should know
We could define the umbilical cord as a tube connecting the baby to the mother, whose function is to nourish and make the gas exchange (bring oxygen and receive back carbon dioxide) between the placenta and the body of the fetus. But their functions go far beyond that.
In the first few weeks, the small embryo feeds on the nutrients of a tiny sac called the yolk sac or the yolk vesicle that is attached directly to the intestines. The cord will only form around the 12th week when the gallbladder disappears and the fetus begins to feed through this medium.
Maximum symbol of the mother and child bond, the umbilical cord is composed of three channels: two arteries, a vein and a kind of jelly that surrounds it: Wharton jelly, which protects the vessels. Only mammals have such a structure that connects the placenta to the body of the fetus, that is, it connects mother and child.
Besides the normal functions of making gas exchanges and nourishing the fetus, the umbilical cord also performs other very interesting functions. See here extraordinary functions of the umbilical cord that all pregnant women should know.
1. It acts as a lung
It is known that oxygen is carried to all parts of the body through the bloodstream, which is key to life. The umbilical cord is what ensures this process of bringing oxygen to the developing baby, since it does not yet have lungs formed.
The cord carries the oxygenated blood into the baby’s body through the vein and receives the excreta and deoxygenated blood through the arteries, returning it to the placenta where it is renewed and purified and returns again through the vein to the baby, that is, the mother has His blood and baby his and do not mix.
2. Perform endocrine functions
In addition to feeding and breathing for the baby, the cord also carries hormones resulting from the endocrine functions performed by the placenta and those resulting from maternal processes and feelings.
Umbilical levels of growth hormones (IGFs) increase over time and are correlated with fetal and placental weights, if levels are low there may be intrauterine growth restriction.
3. Stores stem cells
Umbilical cord blood has stem-cells or stem cells in abundance and is found near blood elements such as red blood cells, whites, and platelets. Stem cells are those that can “transform” into any other in the body. Cells present in the umbilical cord are called somatic cells and are found in both the blood (hematopoietic cells) and tissues (mesenchymal cells).
Research is currently focused on this type of stem cell because more stem cells can be produced from these stem cells and can be frozen and divided into a laboratory environment. In addition to being able to divide, they can also be stimulated to become cells and tissues needed for treatment and therapy.
The great advantage is that these cells have never been exposed to any type of contamination such as viruses, bacteria or other threats present in the environment, having greater therapeutic efficacy and providing a lower risk of infectious complications in already debilitated patients.
4. Is an emotional driver
The cord also nourishes the mother and child connection in a profound way. Not only because of the fetus’s exposure to the mother’s emotional and or hormonal changes, but it is believed that when the physical body of the cord is formed, it also forms an energetic cord that carries the emotions and feelings of the mother to the fetus.
Doctors and scientists attribute this transmission of feelings not to something supernatural, but to the hormones released by the mother in the face of stressful situations. According to a child neuro psychiatrist, he stated that every stress situation affects the fetus. The baby may also feel anxiety or nervousness as well as feelings of love and affection or rejection, all transmitted through this fantastic tube.
Now that you know the function for the Umbilical cord, you can now relate to it and know how to manage your health with your baby.