A lesson on belly buttons


After dinner conversation some weeks ago lead to a discussion of babies and placentas, and belly buttons. I’ve noticed that children often assume that the food a pregnant mother eats is directly channeled in some way to the baby’s stomach or mouth. So, they seem to think that if I eat a vegemite sandwich, then the baby gets some vegemite sandwich too. In a way it’s true, but if they followed their logic a little further, then the problem of having no onboard baby toilet becomes evident and something they hadn’t thought of.

Anyway, I started to explain what an umbilical cord was, and how it delivered nutrients in the blood right into the baby’s circulation, not to the stomach. It was a little tricky to understand so we drew some pictures to explain it all. This lead to quite an in-depth chat, and some rather funny pictures.

This one to show the children what the baby will look like immediately after birth, showing the cord being clamped and scissors at the ready. Nice little egg-shaped placenta, and you’ll note a very happy, rather broad shouldered baby.

This one showing baby waiting to be born, with the placenta and cord, and a little baby heart and aorta, and a carotid and brain. And a beak.

And finally, this one to show the baby in the context of the big tummy the kids see on the outside. This was originally a reasonably simple line drawing of the outline of a pregnant woman. Certain giggling children embellished some details and added the labels.



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