Normal values for umbilical arterial and venous pH, PCO2, PO2, and bicarbonate must be known before these parameters can be used for assistance in clinical decisions. We evaluated the cord blood from 146 infants born after uncomplicated labor and vaginal deliveries at 37 to 42 weeks' gestation. All infants had a normal baseline fetal heart rate and normal beat-to-beat variability for at least 10 minutes preceding expulsion. The cord blood of infants born to women with pregnancy complications such as diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, twins, meconium-stained amniotic fluid, or fetal growth retardation was not included. Mean umbilical arterial values +/- 1 SD for the parameters studied were: pH, 7.28 +/- 0.05; PCO2, 49.2 +/- 8.4 mm Hg; PO2, 18.0 +/- 6.2 mm Hg; bicarbonate, 22.3 +/- 2.5 mEq/L. Umbilical venous values were: pH, 7.35 +/- 0.05; PCO2, 38.2 +/- 5.6 mm Hg; PO2, 29.2 +/- 5.9 mm Hg; bicarbonate, 20.4 +/- 4.1 mEq/L.