Umbilical cord

The umbilical cord is the ropelike structure that connects an unborn child (fetus) to the placenta in the mother's uterus. Blood vessels in the cord bring nourishment to the fetus and take away waste products.

The umbilical cord is formed in the fifth week of pregnancy.

When the baby is born, the umbilical cord is about 2 ft (0.61 m) long.

Last Updated: March 19, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Kimberly Dow, MD, FRCPC - Neonatology

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