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Is it true unborn babies are fed with menstrual blood?

Claim: An Islamic cleric, Sheik Lawan Abubakar Triumph, has claimed that a foetus feeds on the menstrual blood of the mother before being delivered. Verdict:…

Claim: An Islamic cleric, Sheik Lawan Abubakar Triumph, has claimed that a foetus feeds on the menstrual blood of the mother before being delivered.

Verdict: the claim is FALSE. Available evidence shows that all the necessary nutrition, oxygen, and life support from the mother goes through the placenta and to the baby through the umbilical cord.

Full Text:

An Islamic cleric, Sheik Lawan Abubakar Triumph, recently claimed that babies that are still gestating in the womb are fed through the menstrual blood of the mother. In a two minutes, 45 seconds video clip, Sheik Lawan while explaining the development of human embryology, foetal growth and nutrients transportation argued that: “Every pregnant woman does not menstruate because it is the menstrual blood that is converted into food which the unborn baby (foetus) is fed with to grow.”

The video which was recorded when he was making a sermon in Hausa Language has generated mixed reactions.

He added, “that is why when a woman gives birth, the baby comes out with an umbilical cord that serves as a pipe through which her menstrual blood is transported to the foetus as a food.”

He also claimed that after the baby is born, it is also that same mother’s menstrual blood that is converted into breast milk which the baby is fed with.

Verification

However, a Consultant Family Physician as well as Lifestyle and Sexual health Specialist, at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Dr Fatima Damagum, said there is no scientific evidence to back up such claim that menstrual blood is the food foetus consumes.

Speaking during a phone interview, Dr. Damagum stated that medically, an unborn baby is fed through the placenta.

“The placenta is an organ that is attached to the womb (uterus) which provides nutrients to the child through an umbilical cord. Technically, the placenta acts as a filter that extorts nutrients from the mother’s blood and feeds it to the child.”

She further explained that: “The foetus is not fed menstrual blood. Menstrual blood happens when the uterus sheds part of its lining every month.”

Similarly, a study published by international journal of molecular sciences on maternal- foetal nutrient transport in pregnancy pathologies in 2014 revealed that Foetal (unborn offspring) growth is directly related to maternal nutrient availability and the placenta’s ability to transport these nutrients from maternal circulation to the foetus.

Unlike the cleric’s claim that an unborn baby is fed with the mother’s menstrual blood, the study clearly points out that glucose is the primary energy substrate required for growth of the foetus and placenta. And the foetus is almost entirely dependent on glucose from maternal circulation.

Also, Amino acids play a critical role in the development of foetal tissue while fatty acids serve many critical roles in foetal growth, including brain development and fat accretion.

The study further explained that the foetus can synthesize cholesterol endogenously but the placenta also transports cholesterol from maternal circulation to the foetus through cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins.

Conclusion

Although nutrients are transported via the blood to the child, upon which the placenta acts as a filter that extorts such nutrients from the mother’s blood and feeds it to the child, but menstrual blood is not what the child is fed with but glucose, which is the primary energy substrate required for growth of the foetus and placenta.

As such, the claim that the foetus (unborn child) is fed with mother’s menstrual blood is false.

 

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