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The umbilical cord is the ropey structure that connects the 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 (0.6 m) long.
Last Revised: January 10, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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