Congratulations on you new pregnancy!
You are probably all over the place with emotions and ready to prepare! And what better place to do that, with your first pregnancy, than hanging out with us here! Today we are going to talk about the most important part of pregnancy! The placenta!
Fun fact! Did you know the placenta is considered an organ?
This is my first pregnancy. What is the placenta?
Now you’re probably trying to recall what a placenta is from biology back in high school. No worries we are going to refresh your new mom brain with some amazing facts about the placenta!
So like we stated prior the placenta is an organ that only becomes present during pregnancy! I doesn’t just appear but after the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall that is when growth and development really takes off. The placenta provides nutrients to your growing baby through the umbilical cord.
What is the umbilical cord?
Now what the heck is the umbilical cord? The umbilical consists of three vessels. Two of which are arteries and one umbilical vein. This three vessel cord is covered in a jelly like substance. The jelly like substance is called Whartons jelly. The cord connects baby from placenta.
The two arteries carries waste from baby back to the placenta.
The one vein carries the nutrient rich and oxygenated blood to baby!
What are the functions of the Placenta?
There is a lot going on during pregnancy but the placenta is surely the powerhouse running the show (with baby of course).
The first function of the placenta is the respiratory function. This function allows baby to receive oxygen without actually breathing. Isn’t that amazing? How does this exactly happen though? Well the umbilical vein bring the oxygenated blood to the baby. Now mom and babies blood does not mix but due to the babies hemoglobin being very “sticky” it makes the transfer effortlessly.
While baby is in the womb their lung sacs, alveoli, not only are still growing but filled with fluid. Baby does practice breathing during the pregnancy though!
As if pregnancy and the placenta isn’t wild enough the placenta also works as an excretion function. This works pretty much opposite than the respiratory function( if I am going to keep it simple). So anything the baby needs to get rid of will go through the two umbilical arteries through the placenta and cross by diffusion.
The extra needs to go somewhere right? This is the the short version of it.
Lastly is the function we all know and appreciate with pregnancy and the placenta! And that is providing baby with the nutrients baby needs to happily grow throughout the whole pregnancy! So whatever mom eats, drinks, or encounters baby will experience as well.
The placenta provides immunity! Both past and present! If if mom has had something she will send the antibodies that her body remembers to the baby as well as anything illnesses she may encounter during her pregnancy.
So whether you are crying or your tough as nails the placenta is also working just as hard. The placenta is responsible for the HCG levels (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) which give your the positive pregnancy test you have been waiting oh so long for!
A couple other hormones that the placenta assists in during pregnancy are:
-Maintains corpus luteum
-Estrogen ( Keeps your body soft for your growing baby)
Knowledge is power with pregnancy!
The more you know the more you can trust your making the best choice for not only your baby but YOU! Your mama instinct are already at work! Congratulations again!
Stay turned for more information on how amazing the woman’s body is!