The belly button, also called navel, is a scar left behind by the removal of the umbilical cord through which we are connected to our mother. The cord and navel have always drawn a lot of interest from scientists, and may be the baby’s first toy, considering how doctors have noticed babies playing with it on ultrasounds.
Cutting the cord is almost a ritualistic experience and is done immediately after the child comes out, but recent scientific evidence suggests that cutting the umbilical cord 3-4 minutes after is better as it allows the child to receive 80-100 ml. of blood more. The cord is formed during pregnancy and gets longer over time until it reaches 50-70 cm. According to studies, babies who move a lot have longer cords. The umbilical cord has 1 vein and 2 arteries – the vein carries oxygen-rich blood from the mother, and the arteries take the oxygen-depleted blood and waste from the baby back to the mother for elimination. The umbilical cord is connected to the placenta and not directly to the mother’s circulation.
The placenta is actually a sophisticated filter. It protects the baby’s blood vessels when it moves, and is filled with a jelly-like substance known as Wharton’s jelly. It’s actually a natural airbag, and even if it’s wrapped around the baby’s neck, it’s not a big problem. Once cut when the baby comes out, the cord ceases its function of receiving and transporting blood back and forth, and eventually dies off in the form of a black stump.
On the spot where the cord was cut, a scar known as navel forms. It can be pointed inwards or outwards, and gets filled with the so-called belly fluff every day. But, have you ever wondered what’s behind it? When the baby takes its first breath, blood is rushed to the lungs, which have previously been filled with fluid. At the same time, the two arteries in the umbilical cord constrict and prevent blood flow going to the placenta, which makes the vein die off. The veins and arteries in the cord close up and form ligaments, which divide into sections and are connected to the belly button. The part of the cord closest to the belly button will eventually form its own ligaments that have no purpose, but the internal part of the cord becomes a part of our body’s circulatory system. Sometimes, the canal that connects the belly button and the bladder stays inactive, which may result in urine leaking out of the belly button, an abnormality that requires a surgical procedure after birth.
If you stick a finger into the belly button you can feel a bit of tingling in the pelvis and bladder, and it’s all because of the ligaments formed by the cord. They are a part of our circulation system deep inside the body, and a remnant from our days spent in the womb.
Article and image source: https://holisticlivingtips.com