Monday, December 26, 2011

*Umbilical Cord Variation*

I didn't really know how to title this post. I try to usually keep my posts light and fun as in the Laborlooks fashion, but occasionally I let my Certified Nurse Midwife side slip out.

Here is a picture I took with my cell phone of my sister's umbilical cord and placenta (with her permission).

A normal umbilical cord has 2 arteries and 1 vein. It is then covered in a substance called Wharton's Jelly. This jelly is like a cushion, it protects the vein and arteries from being compressed and stopping the blood to and from the baby. This is one of the biggest protective mechanism for these babies who have their cords around their neck, knots in their cords, or even if the cord pulls really tight when the babies are delivering. This jelly saves lives.

With that being said I hope there isn't ever a substance named "brittani's jelly," cause then you would all just think people were talking about my butt or my arm fat or something like that.

Back to the umbilical cord... This segment that is being held up by my dad is about a 2 inch section where one of the umbilical arteries merged off of the cord and created a small amount of Wharton's Jelly to protect it. After about 2 inches it merged its way back to the main section of the cord and the rest of the cord looked perfect. During my sister's labor there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (often a sign of stress on the baby) and her baby had some decelerations of the heart rate (also a sign of stress on the baby). Both of these things may have been caused by her umbilical cord and the artery not having all of the protection it needed from the Wharton's Jelly.

Is this a picture for a text book? Have you ever heard or seen this? I hadn't seen it until now.

I texted this picture to a few of my midwife friends and colleages (with permission of course!!) and I had an overwhelming response that they hadn't ever seen this either.


AtYourCervix said...

Looks like it might be some true loops? Similar to false knots? I can't think of the exact term off the top of my head right now.

Becky said...

I've never seen it and I worked in pathology for a couple years in a major medical center. We got 10-15 placentas a day that were variations on text book.
It's super cool, though! How neat is the body that it can protect itself and the life it's growing with variations on normal that still support life.

Janelle said...

L&D 7 years...never seen it! Very cool!