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Should I worry that my umbilical cord is missing one blood vessel?

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Should I worry that my umbilical cord is missing one blood vessel?


One of the problems with new technologies is that, along with helpful information, we also get information that is not necessarily useful, that we might have been better off not knowing, and that may cause undue alarm. For example, in the early days of ultrasound we found babies with enlarged kidneys in the womb. This caused all sorts of consternation until we realized that many babies have this condition before they are born and that it usually resolves by a month or two after birth.

The reason we pay attention to the number of vessels in the umbilical cord is that there is an increased chance that the child may have some congenital malformation of the kidneys or other organs. While the chances may be increased, the reality is that it is still much more likely that there is NOT any problem. Finding a missing artery prompts us to explore further, but if there is no other abnormality you have nothing to worry about. Your baby still has plenty of blood flow and your major worry should be about whether he will let you sleep at night.  

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