Function of the Umbilical Cord and Placenta in Childbirth


In a normal birth of a child, the mother’s blood never comes into contact with the child, nor does the baby’s blood come into contact with the mother! In the 1980 edition of Collier’s Encyclopedia, vol. 11, p. 748, under “Prenatal Circulation”, it states:

Circulation of blood in the unborn child (the fetus), called the fetal circulation, is important because it functions directly in nutrition, excretion, and respiration. During the fetal or prenatal stage, there is present a special organ, the placenta, which connects the body of the fetus with the mother. The fetal blood runs through the placental tissue as does the maternal blood. However, the blood of the fetus and of the mother do not mix at any time. The exchange of different substances takes place through the very thin contacting walls of the placental membranes. Through them, the fetal blood takes up oxygen and nutritive materials from the mother’s blood. At the same time, it gives off waste substances which are then eliminated through the mother’s excretory system.

From the placenta, the newly oxygenated blood passes through the umbilical vein towards the heart. Much of it first goes through the liver; hence the liver is quite large in proportion to other organs in this early stage of life. The blood that does not go through the liver goes through the ductus venosus to the inferior vena cava. There, it mixes with blood from the lower parts of the body and the abdominal wall, and the blood from the liver which comes through the hepatic vein. This mixed blood then enters the right atrium of the heart. Guided by the valve of the inferior vena cava, it passes into the left atrium through the foramen ovale which is a fetal opening in the wall that separates the two atria. There, it meets a small amount of blood from the lungs that comes through the pulmonary vein. The blood then passes into the left ventricle and is pumped out into the aorta and distributed to the head and upper parts of the body. The blood returns from the head and upper regions through various veins into the right atrium via the superior vena cava. It then enters the right ventricle and is pumped into the pulmonary artery; however only a small quantity goes to the lungs since they do not function until birth and need only enough blood for their nutrition. The greater part is forced through a blood vessel, the ductus arteriosus, which is present only in the fetus, directly into the aorta. The blood is then distributed to the lower limbs and abdominal organs, but the greater portion of it returns to the placenta via the umbilical arteries.

At birth, the umbilical blood vessels are severed and the placenta is cast off. Several changes then occur in the circulatory system which culminate in the permanent circulatory system. The lungs start functioning and blood is sent to them for the carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange. The foramen ovale usually ceases to function within two months after birth and closes up entirely within a year. It becomes an oval depression known as the fossa ovalis. Failure to close after birth results in a congenital heart disorder known as an atrial septal defect which can now be corrected by the newest techniques of heart surgery. Immediately after respiration is established, the ductus arteriosus begins to contract and becomes obliterated. It eventually becomes the ligamentum arteriosum, which is an impervious cord without function. Failure of this to occur after birth results in a disorder known as potency of the ductus arteriosus which can be corrected surgically in a large percentage of cases. The umbilical vein, the ductus venosus, and the umbilical arteries usually disappear about five days after birth. With the commencement of food intake, the digestive tract begins to function. The digestive system then takes over the function of providing nutrients for the blood to pick up and distribute throughout the body. Wastes are eliminated through the urinary system.”

Ibid. vol. 9, p. 123, under “Development Of The Embryo”: “A human embryo in the uterus, suspended in a protective sac of amniotic fluid. During its development, the embryo receives oxygen and food materials from the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta, a spongy membrane composed of tissue from the embryo and the uterus. Waste products from the embryo are released into the mother’s bloodstream through the same membrane. Although the blood vessels from the embryo and uterus interlock, the blood does not intermix.”

Ibid. vol. 9, p. 123, under “Extraembryonic Membranes”: “... The placenta develops as a specialized outgrowth of the fetal membranes. A spongy membrane, the placenta is composed of interlocking blood vessels from the embryo and the mother. It is through the placenta that nutrients, oxygen, and metabolic wastes are passed by diffusion. Normally, however, there is no actual intermingling of fetal and maternal blood because layers of cells separate the blood vessels. At birth the placenta is discarded as the afterbirth, and its tasks are assumed by the digestive systems, lungs, and kidneys ....” This reference material concerning how Yahweh protects our women even though they have committed miscegenation is vital to our cause!