What an incredible organ! Yes, this disposable organ. A woman grows her child's placenta from just her one egg and partner's one sperm. It is the lifeline of your baby. Some women are super interested in seeing it after birth and some not as much. I always try to get some shots of it when at births. Most moms want to see it after in their photos. Here are some fun facts about your placenta you may have not know about.
1. The placenta is a multi functioning organ that provides oxygen, nutrition, and fluids to your little one. It filters out waste like kidneys and acts as your baby's lungs.
2. The placenta provides immunity and antibodies to your baby. Even long after the baby is born the antibodies can provide protection 3 to 6 months following birth.
3. The placenta functions without direct control from the nervous system. The placenta has no nerve cells which means that your placenta works and functions without being connected to your brain. Um, that's pretty cool!
4. The placenta is the only disposable organ. Yes, we can live and function without certain organs but the placenta is the only organ that is designed to naturally be disposed of. Also, it's awesome that we just keep growing them over and over again, then disposing them with each pregnancy.
5. Identical twins may or may not share a placenta. Sharing the placenta depends of whether or not the egg splits before the placenta develops or after. Fraternal twins will always have two placentas.
6. When the placenta exits your body it helps kick-start the milk making. When your placenta separates from the uterus it triggers the hormone called Prolactin which is the hormone responsible for milk making.
7. Mother's and baby's blood passes through the placenta but never mix. If mixed it could create a whole mountain of problems including the mother's blood creating antibodies to attack the baby's blood destroying the pregnancy.
8. Women choose to do many things with their placenta. Many people have now become aware of the growing trend of placenta encapsulation in the West but there are also other things women have the option of looking into. You can plant a bush or tree with your placenta in the ground, or even make your placenta a piece of art with a placenta print!
9. The placenta can be used to better understand and research cancer. The placenta is able to develop in a woman's body without being attacked by the immune system. Scientists can study the similarities between tumors and the way pregnancy and placentas develop.
10. The placenta is 50% from mom and 50% from dad. Even though the placenta grows inside the woman the placenta starts to form once the sperm fertilizes the egg and a blastocyst is formed. This becomes the placenta and baby.