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Kids - Umbilical cord

Emily: How does the baby eat and breathe in your uterus? Mommy: When the baby’s in my uterus, it can’t eat soup or breathe on its own, so it needs some help. The baby has a little tube that goes to its middle. It’s called the umbilical cord. And the umbilical cord goes to the placenta, which connects to my uterus. Mommy: Here’s how it works. First, the food that I eat and air that I breathe get into my bloodstream. Emily, did you know that in my blood there are tiny pieces of food and air so small, that you can’t even see them with a microscope? Emily: No, I didn’t. Mommy: It’s true! And they’re in yours, too. These tiny pieces of food and air travel along my bloodstream to the placenta. And from there, they go to the umbilical cord and into the baby’s body. That’s how the baby eats and breathes inside my uterus. Emily: He’s like a little deep-sea diver. Mommy: That’s right, Emily. And did you know after the baby is born, the umbilical cord goes away? And guess what’s left. Emily: What? Mommy: You’re belly button. Emily: (Giggle)

Kids - Umbilical cord

Review Date: 11/12/2021

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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