12 ways your placenta helps your baby

You don't just grow your baby inside your womb, but your placenta too.

Ever wondered what keeps your little one safe inside the womb? No, it s not just right eating, corrective breathing and exercise. There is something besides your baby growing inside you to help your baby survive your placenta. Sure, you never thought of it in this way till now. Well, here are few facts about placenta that we bet you didn t know.

Fact #1 It develops from the fertilised egg like your baby

When the sperm and egg unite, they don t just make the baby, but also develops the placenta. The fertilised egg plants itself in the uterine wall. The inner cells grow to become the fetus, whereas the outer cells burrow deep inside the walls to form the placenta. Know what happens during the first month of your pregnancy.

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Fact #2 It needs care and attention

Your placenta needs nourishment like your baby. So, following healthy eating habits, regular exercising and staying away from alcohol, nicotine or junk is essential, else it could impact the placenta and thereby your baby. Here is why smoking during pregnancy is bad for you.

Fact #3 It has the same genes as that of your baby

Yes, this is true. In fact, prenatal tests conducted collecting cells from the placenta could help to determine congenital defects early. However, since these tests are risky, so they are usually avoided. Here are some pregnancy tests that you cannot miss.

Fact #4 It keeps your baby alive

Your placenta is the reason your body doesn t reject the fetus as a foreign object. It safeguards the fetus by providing it with antibodies. These antibodies also help the fetus fight off infections.

Fact #5 It singlehandedly helps your pregnancy progress

The placenta secretes the hCG hormone that prevents ovaries from releasing eggs and increases production of progesterone and estrogen, and so your baby grows and develops peacefully inside the womb. Here are things in the environment that can harm your baby in the womb.

Fact #6 It prepares you for lactation

It secretes human placental lactogen or HPL that helps you get ready for breastfeeding. Here is a step-by-step guide for new mothers.

Fact #7 It is unique and different in each womb

Just like every baby is different, the same goes for the placenta. It could vary in size and shape with every pregnancy and every other mother and still do its job well. The position of your placenta (anterior or posterior) has an effect on fetal well-being too. While their positions might be a matter of concern during labour and delivery. An anterior placenta could necessitate a c-section a posterior placenta could lead to a normal delivery. Both do their job of providing nutrients and oxygen to the baby.

Fact #8 It is the lifeline between you and your baby

Every minute of your pregnancy there is one pint of blood being pumped through the uterus exchanging nutrients with the placenta. It also helps to excrete wastes from the fetus by passing it to your blood stream.

Fact #9 It is a disposable organ

The placenta is an organ that develops inside your body for a specific purpose and gets discarded once the purpose is over. Unlike other vestigial organs, it doesn t stay inside after its work is done.

Fact #10 It is edible

It also has immense health benefits. Some people prefer to eat it to alleviate postpartum depression. Well, try it at your own isk. Here are five weird things you can do with your placenta.

Fact #11 It is born after your baby

Your delivery is never complete unless you have birthed the placenta. You will feel the contractions even after your baby is born till your placenta is delivered. Birthing of the placenta is called afterbirth.

Fact #12 It stays alive when out of the womb

Even after the delivery, out of the womb the placenta stays alive for a couple of minutes, providing nutrients to the baby. Once the umbilical cord is cut, the placenta ceases to function and is nothing more than a medical waste.

Image source: Getty Images

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