If you know anything about pregnancy you have no doubt heard about the placenta. A placenta forms in the womb along with the developing baby. It is connected to the baby via the umbilical cord. It is an organ that connects the baby to the uterine wall. Without proper placenta formation it is difficult for an unborn baby to grow healthily and strongly.
What does the Placenta Do?
The placenta has many functions and is vital to developing a healthy and strong baby. The primary role of the placenta is to ensure that the developing baby receives enough oxygen. Oxygen is passed from the mother’s blood to the new baby’s blood via the placenta. It also carried carbon dioxide away from your baby back into the placenta and then into the mother’s blood stream to be disposed of. The placenta is also essential to the passing of nutrients to the baby. Any waste products that the developing baby produces are passed through the umbilical cord into the placenta and out into the mother’s blood stream. The mother’s body then disposes of them.
The placenta also produces hormones that are crucial to the development of pregnancy. It produces three main hormones Human chronic gonadotropin, or hCG, estrogen and progesterone. Another important role that the placenta plays is protecting the developing baby from harmful infections and substances. It can protect a baby from bacteria but not viruses this is why it is dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed to such viruses as chicken pox and rubella. Near the end of a pregnancy the placenta passes antibodies across from the mother to the baby giving the unborn child immunity for about 3 months after birth.