During the 9 months that a pregnancy lasts , parents are aware that this process can be vital in the life of their baby, as it can trigger some problems in the fetus. One of the things that worries the most at the time of delivery, is if the child has left with the umbilical cord tangled. If this were so, there would be a big problem, unless you act on time.
WHAT IS THE UMBILICAL CORD?
While the fetus is in the mother’s womb, it receives nutrients and in turn the oxygen it needs thanks to the placenta, which [quotei] The umbilical cord measures about 50 cm [/ quotei] is connected to the wall of the uterus . The baby has an opening in the abdomen where the umbilical cord comes out that connects it to the placenta. This, measures approximately 50 centimeters and is formed from the fifth week of pregnancy. It is made up of two arteries and a vein . All this is surrounded by a thin gelatinous layer called ‘Wharton’s Jelly’.
All the information that the baby needs comes from the mother’s womb , which is found in the blood and is filtered by the placenta through the cord. The baby depends on this union to carry out a good intrauterine life.
WHAT DOES THE UMBILICAL CORD CONTRIBUTE AFTER DELIVERY?
Already in the last phase of labor, delivery, the cord is clamped by a physician, and it is often the father who has the honor and privilege of cutting it . It is a very emotional act for the parents of the child. Special care must be taken with the remains that remain in the navel, for this it must be properly cleaned very often until the umbilical cord is detached, which is usually between the third and sixth day of life .
The umbilical cord has great genetic properties in itself, especially stem cells, which in many cases offer the possibility of donating them to treat and cure diseases.
Advantages of stem cells:
– They have the property of becoming specialized cells .
– Its obtaining is very simple and painless. There is no risk of any kind for the baby or the mother.
– These cells do not contain viruses because they are protected throughout their life in the mother’s uterus .
Blood obtained from stem cells can be very beneficial if transplanted into people with bone marrow diseases .
WHAT TO DO WITH THE UMBILICAL CORD AFTER DELIVERY?
After pregnancy and having given birth, the cord and the blood that have been accompanying the fetus during pregnancy, usually [quotei] The cord generates thousands of red and white blood cells [/ quotei] to be discarded despite all the information genetics that they carry in themselves. Although many parents do not know that this union between the fetus and the mother is capable of generating thousands of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. These cells, if desired, can be donated to patients suffering from leukemia who cannot find a bone marrow donor.
The level of success of this type of transplant is close to 90% . Its main advantage according to researchers and experts is that the blood has less incompatibility between donor and recipient due to poor immunological maturation of blood lymphocytes from the heart, which reduces the chances of rejection .
Before delivery, routine tests are done to rule out the presence of transmitted diseases . To do this, the mother must leave her consent to do the test in writing after having received all the necessary information.
After delivery and the section of the umbilical cord, a puncture is performed while the placenta is still in the uterus to collect as much blood as possible. After the placenta is expelled, the same operation is carried out to collect the blood that has remained adhered to the tissues, which is sent to the blood bank where it is processed and preserved. The cells are frozen at a temperature of 196 degrees below zero . Six months later a check is done to approve his genetic donation.
When the pregnancy ends and the baby is born, it must pass a clinical examination where its information will be recorded in files to be able to work with the stem cells. The umbilical cord blood will be used for any patient from any part of the world who needs it, with the only preference to be compatible.
The transplant will be carried out thanks to genetics, which, through a transfusion, is replaced by the damaged cells of the recipient. The data obtained is confidential. It should be noted that the donation is altruistic and that the same blood can be used for the purpose of research in the event that it cannot be used for donation.