The umbilical cord runs from the stomch of a fetus or embryo to the placenta. It connects the fetus to its mother. The cord is made up of one vein and two arteries. The vein delivers nutrient and oxygen rich blood from the mother to the fetus. The arteries remove waste materials and deoxygenated blood.
Traditionally, the umbilical cord is clamped and then cut after the birth. Doctors have found health benefits for both the child and the mother in delaying the clamping of the cord by one to three minutes following the birth. In a tradition called lotus birth, the entire umbilical cord is left intact to dry up and fall off on its own.