The placenta, also called placenta, is essential for the growth, development and keeping alive of your baby. During the implantation of the fertilized egg, the place where the placenta starts to develop is immediately determined. This can therefore be anywhere in the womb. The placenta is an interesting part of pregnancy. Read more about the placenta, what the functions are and the afterbirth.
What is a placenta?
The placenta is an organ that plays an essential role during pregnancy. In the first instance, it ensures that the pregnancy is maintained and also ensures that your baby is supplied with nutrients and oxygen. In short: without the placenta you would not be able to stay pregnant and your baby would never be able to develop.
What is the function of the placenta or placenta?
The placenta has not one function, but several important functions.
Produce the hormones progesterone, estrogen, HPL and hCG
Each hormone has an important function during pregnancy, however annoying the side effects can sometimes be (think of morning sickness and constipation). This way progesterone ensures that your uterus does not contract to prevent preterm birth. Does estrogen have the job to stop the operation of the ovaries and to start milk production. Estrogen also makes the uterus strong and ensures that it grows. HPL ensures that your body does not reject your baby and hCG stimulates the growth of the embryo.
Separate blood circulation from mother and child.
The circulation of you and your baby is separated. Your placenta therefore consists of a maternal part and a childlike part. The parts are separated by a membrane. Why is this important?
The blood type of you and your child may differ from each other because your partner has a different blood group than you. Different blood groups can not come into contact with each other because that could cause problems. Also, through this separation, the placenta can filter harmful substances that enter via the mother. This does not apply to nicotine or alcohol.
Connection between mother and child.
The placenta not only separates mother and child, but also connects you. This connection aims to transport oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord to the fetus. Your baby's waste will also be transported to you via the placenta so that you can clean it up.
When is the placenta formed?
The construction of the placenta starts 2 weeks after fertilization. When you are 12 weeks pregnant, the placenta is fully developed. From that moment on, the placenta takes over the delivery of nutrients from the yolk sac and can also be seen in an echo.
What is a yolk bag? This is a type of membrane that is attached to the embryo and has the task in the first trimester of feeding your baby.
Eating placenta after delivery?
Maybe it will shock you, but in recent years, eating the placenta has increased in popularity after birth. Arguments to do this are that the placenta would contain important nutrients that help heal your body like many proteins, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and hormones.
The proponents also believe that the placenta reduces the risk of maternal tears (infant blues) and postnatal depression and stimulates milk production.
But before you take your knife and fork there are also many counter-arguments. For example, there is no scientific evidence that the placenta can actually contribute to the recovery and other benefits mentioned. Opponents even say that it can be dangerous to work your placenta inside because bacteria can quickly develop on the cake. If you do not already get sick of it, you might get it because of the hormones (because you already have enough). So the choice is actually yours.
Freeze or store stem cells from the umbilical cord
The stem cell technology has developed rapidly in recent years. Researchers try to stimulate parents to freeze or store the baby's stem cells so that your baby, but also family members, can benefit from this later on. These cells are withdrawn from the umbilical cord. If a stem cell donor is unavoidably needed later, you already have some stem cells in stock.
Does this seem to you? Ask your doctor or midwife about the possibilities.