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The Importance of the Placenta: Supporting Your Baby's Growth

The Importance of the Placenta: Supporting Your Baby's Growth

If you think that only your baby is growing and developing in your womb, you’re wrong. Growing along with your child is the placenta. It is a tough tube full of veins, and is responsible for providing things your baby needs to survive and grow, like oxygen and hormones. The placenta is attached to the womb’s lining. Your baby is connected to it through the umbilical cord. What is the importance of the placenta? The placenta plays a vital role in keeping your child alive and healthy.

Importance of the Placenta

The placenta is the source of nutrition for your child. The other responsibilities of the placenta are as follows:

  • Provide oxygen to the baby. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrition to your baby even before the lungs develop.
  • Removes waste. Yes, your baby passes stool ,even when he or she is in the womb. The placenta helps remove the excretion from the baby’s body.
  • Produces pregnancy hormones. The placenta helps to produce and regulate pregnancy hormones until the end of the first trimester. Once you pass the first trimester, you may experience less exhaustion or morning sickness.

Importance of the Placenta: Placenta Formation

In the fourth week of pregnancy, a mass of cells implants into the wall of the uterus. Some cells from this mass split away and burrow deeper into the uterine wall. They will form a disc-shaped organ that is full of blood vessels. This is how the placenta forms.

Importance of the Placenta: Other Uses

Shockingly, there are numerous uses of the placenta. Some people believe that a mother eating the placenta right after childbirth can bring several positive effects. However there is a lack of evidence that eating the placenta boosts your health.

Despite this, some people believe it can help improve breast milk production, lift your mood, and boost energy levels. Apart from that, there are also placenta pills available which reportedly help in the following areas, including:

  • Anti-aging
  • Wound healing
  • Physiological functions
  • Balancing hormones
  • Lowers skin pigmentation
  • Improves recovery
  • Enhances blood circulation and metabolism
  • Improves immunity
  • Treats chronic fatigue

Mothers thinking of eating the placenta should know that health experts have not found any health benefits from it. Eating the placenta may also increase the risks of infection. One reported case involved a mother passing on group b strep to her baby after taking contaminated placenta pills.

Importance of the Placenta: Placental Issues During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there are 3 common placental issues that a woman may experience:

  • Placenta Previa. This happens when the placenta wholly or partially covers the cervix, making labor more dangerous.
  • Placental Abruption. The placenta detaches from the uterine wall too early, resulting in insufficient nutrient and oxygen intake for the baby. The mother will be put at risk of severe hemorrhage.
  • Placenta Accreta. This is when the placental blood vessels embed too deeply in the uterine wall, increasing the risk of hemorrhage during and after delivery.

In all these conditions, a woman can experience heavy vaginal bleeding. However, a woman after delivery is also at risk of Retained Placenta.

Retained Placenta

If the placenta is not removed within 30 minutes after childbirth, it is called a retained placenta. It occurs when the placenta is still attached to the uterine wall either deeply (placenta accreta) or loosely (adherent placenta). A retained placenta may also occurred when the placenta gets trapped behind a partially closed cervix.

If not treated, it risks the chances of severe infections or life-threatening blood loss.

Importance of the Placenta: When to Consult a Doctor

Mothers may experience placental problems during pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you experience:

  • Uterine contractions
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Back pain or abdominal pain

So as to prevent placental problems, it is essential that you keep placental health good.

Key Takeaway

The importance of the placenta is that it plays a vital role in the survival and development of your child. Following this, it is important for you to maintain your health and avoid things that can affect the placenta and your baby.

To learn more about the placenta, you can always ask your health expert for information.

Learn more about Prenatal Care here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 29
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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