What does the placenta do?

The placenta is an amazing part of your uterus.  The placenta exists within the uterus and attaches to the uterine wall.  The other side of the uterus attaches to your baby through the umbilical cord, providing a large number of benefits for your baby.

For example, the placenta:

-  Provides nourishment to your baby.

-  Eliminates waste from your baby.

-  Exchanges respiratory gasses with your baby, allowing it to breathe through you.

-  Secretes various hormones such as chorionic gonadotropin, progesterone and estrogens that help regulate and maintain your pregnancy.

-  Blocks some (but not all) harmful substances in your body from your baby.

The placenta begins its processes immediately as the baby is forming in your womb.  It grows throughout the pregnancy and must be delivered after your baby is born.  The placenta separates itself from your uterine wall after the umbilical cord is cut and must be pushed out by contractions.  After it is delivered, it is inspected for problems by your physician and then disposed of with the rest of the afterbirth.



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