JOHN HESELTINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN HESELTINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The umbilical cord joining a newborn baby to its placenta is prepared to be severed. Immediately after the birth of the baby the cord pulses as blood passes from the placenta into the baby's body. After a few minutes, when the pulsations have stopped, the cord is tied and cut. The remaining stump withers and falls off.
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