PlacentaWhat happens to the placenta after delivery?
The placenta is an organ that is attached to the inside of the uterus and connected to the fetus via the umbilical cord. The placenta is thick and round and has many blood vessels. The placenta is responsible for producing the pregnancy hormone hCG, transferring oxygen to the fetus and providing nutrients to the developing baby. Waste products from the fetus are carried out through the placenta as well. The placenta will continue to grow throughout the pregnancy and by the end of the pregnancy; it will weigh over a pound. The placenta will begin to deteriorate after the 42nd week of pregnancy; therefore, a woman should be delivered no later than 42 weeks of pregnancy.
After the baby is born, contractions will continue to expel the placenta from the woman's body. This usually takes anywhere from 2-30 minutes. Because the placenta is delivered after the baby, it is often called the afterbirth. If the entire placenta is not expelled, there is a chance of maternal hemorrhage and infection. The placenta will be examined after it is expelled, usually by the delivering physician. The size, shape, consistency, and completeness will be noted. Pathologists can often examine the placenta to find further information on prematurity, diabetes, miscarriage, stillbirth, meconium staining and other infections or conditions of the mother and child.
The placenta does act as a barrier for the fetus, but it can not block everything from coming through. During pregnancy, there are many things that can cross the placenta and be passed to a fetus. Therefore, it is important to become aware of the dangers of these items and the harmful effects that are passed to your baby.
- Tobacco smoke
- Illegal drugs
- Stress hormones
- Certain medications
- Saccharin (artificial sweetener)
- 20th century midwives would burn the placenta and count the pops that the placenta produced while it burned. The pops supposedly revealed how many more children the woman would have.
- Some cultures bury the placenta under a special tree that is planted in honor of the child. Supposedly, the placenta is the best fertilizer that you can use.
- In some countries, the placenta is eaten. Eating the placenta supposedly decreases your odds of having postpartum depression and can increase your milk supply. Rubbing the placenta on the mother`s breasts may also help prevent sore, chaffed nipples. You can find recipes here and here.
Occasionally, women will experience problems with their placenta during pregnancy. Placenta previa and placental abruption occur in some pregnancies and can be found via ultrasound examination.
Read more on placenta previa
Read more on placenta abruption
There are some conditions that can be found during the routine examination of the placenta after it is expelled. Placentas that are abnormally large can represent diabetes, fetal infections and fetal hydrops. Placentas that are unusually small can reveal intrauterine growth retardation. Clots on the placenta can signal placental abruption. The color of the placenta should be a dark maroon and pallor color can represent anemia in the infant, which could also signal hemorrhage. A nodule or thickening on the placenta could represent a vanished twin. Other less likely conditions can be revealed during the placental examination. Any suspicious placentas have to be examined by a pathologist. Comments: Placenta
Comments 1 to 3 of about 3.
900 days ago.
Oh my goodness, I can't believe how big that placenta is in the picture! Will it hurt as much as the baby when it comes out? It's HUGE! Irene1
1177 days ago.
Normally, the placenta is developed onto the upper side of the uterus, but it can accidentally develop onto the inferior side. This is usually seen at the echography from week 20. In this case, the ultrasound will be redone later on, because in most cases, as the uterus enlarges, the placenta will move up towards the upper walls. Nevertheless, there are cases in which the placenta remains inferior, covering the internal opening of the cervix (placenta praevia). In this cases, the baby's exit is blocked and a cesarean is required. Placenta praevia can cause bleeding.
( http://www.childwiki.com/index.php/Placenta )
1404 days ago.
Im 23 weeks pregnant and have been told my placenta is anteria and low lying. Im due to have another ultrasound when im 30 weeks. But lately have been feeling alot of pressure in my pelvis area and have been feeling lightheaded. Im a little worried.