Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Belly Buttons and Pregnancy
Name: Bonnie
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: CA
Country: N/A
Date: 4/27/2005


Question:
Does a woman have to have a belly button to have a baby? Why or why not.


Replies:
Nope...Interesting...I think your mixing up the order of things. As a developing baby in the womb, we all are attached to our mothers and draw nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord. When we are born the umbilical cord is cut and it leaves behind the scar of where it was attached to our body. It has no direct relationship whatever to do with the ability to conceive as a grown woman.

pf


No. The woman's belly button has nothing to do with the conception and development of a fetus within the mother's uterus. A woman who does not have a belly button for some reason (injury?) can get pregnant and carry a baby. The baby will have a belly button after it is born because the baby was connected to the placenta in the uterus by an umbilical cord. Please, please, please speak to your school nurse or your parent(s) about reproduction.

Pat Rowe


No, Bonnie, a woman doesn't need a belly button at all, to have a baby.

But if she has a belly button, it means she once _was_ a baby in her mother's womb. (Her mother, of course, was presumably a woman too. Which is irrelevant but possibly confusing, in a chicken-and-egg sort of way.)

For a baby to be in a womb, it must have an umbilical cord to connect it to the wall of it's mother's womb: to get food, water, air, and to remove waste-air in the blood and some of the liquid waste.

When the baby is born and is out of the womb, suddenly the paths all change. From then on the baby gets food and water thru its mouth and stomach, and air thru it's lungs, and waste comes out at the other end. So the umbilical cord is cut off and tied shut. (Or else it can dry up and fall off naturally. Nature taking care of us....)

The belly button is the stub left over from that umbilical cord, the point where you once had an attachment to your biological mother. That's a nice sentiment, but after you're born it doesn't do much, and if someone invents cosmetic surgery to remove it or cover it over, I wouldn't be too surprised.

On the other hand, a woman does need a womb (a uterus) to have a baby.

Jim Swenson


Your belly button is the scar that is left over from where YOU were attached to YOUR mother. This is where you were attached to your mother by the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord brought you water and nutrients from your mother while you were in her uterus. when you were born, the cord was cut separating you from your mother. The stump of the cord eventually dried up and fell off leaving your "belly button". The technical name for this is the umbilicus. If you have a baby, your baby will grow inside and the umbilical cord will grow between you and the baby inside of you. Then your baby will get its own belly button after birth. The only way a person would NOT have a belly button, is if he/she grew completely outside the mother, which isn't possible-at least not yet!

Van Hoeck


No, a women doesn't have to have a belly button to have a baby. When a baby is in the womb, the umbilical cord attaches from the placenta of the mother to the stomach of the baby. It directly brings in food, oxygen, and other nutrients for the baby, while it also takes out wastes and carbon dioxide. When the baby is born it no longer needs the umbilical cord, so it is cut off and tied. All that is left of it is a little stub which either retracts into the stomach or sticks out. That stub is what we call our belly button. A belly button is just a left over skin "wrinkle" from when you had the umbilical cord attached to you in the womb.

Grace Field


Hi Bonnie,

The answer is no. A belly button is not a requirement for a woman to have a baby. The belly button is the location where the umbilical cord linked the baby and the mother together during the pregnancy period. Once the baby is born, the cord is cut and the baby's systems take over. The stub of cord heals, falls off and the baby is left with a belly button.

Some of us have innies, and some outies, but its usefulness ended very early in our lives... except for the collection of stray lint.

Bob Hartwell



Click here to return to the General Topics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory