The Role of The Placenta During Pregnancy

f you’re recently pregnant, you may have heard a lot about the placenta like where it should be, what most affects it, how important it is for your baby, and whether consuming it after birth offers health benefits, etc. However, you may not be totally sure what it actually does. So, let’s take a closer look at how the placenta works.

 

What is the placenta?

The placenta is a temporary disc-shaped organ found in the uterus that grows along with a developing embryo from conception. The umbilical cord runs between the placenta and the fetus. After birth, the mother will either deliver the placenta, or it will be removed by the doctor. 

 

What does the placenta do?

This organ is the essential link between the mother and her developing baby. It is the baby’s only provider of life-giving necessities like:

 

  • Oxygen- The baby will receive oxygen from the mother’s blood that passes through the placenta.

  • Nutrients- The fetus will also receive all of their nutrition from the blood that passes through the placenta.

  • Waste Removal- All of the waste produced by the fetus (including carbon dioxide) is also passed back through the placenta and into the mother’s blood supply for disposal.

  • Hormones- The placenta is also able to provide the baby with hormones that are necessary for its development.

  • Body Temperature- This organ can help to regulate the fetus’s body temperature so that it doesn’t suffer from extreme conditions.

  • Immune Support- The placenta delivers important antibodies from the mother that will support the baby’s immune system once he or she is born.

 

The placenta is able to do all of this while also keeping the blood supply of the mother and the blood supply of the fetus separate, which helps to filter out some infections as well as keep the mother and baby safe if one becomes ill. However, it is still possible to detect some of the baby’s DNA in the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy. This genetic information is often useful for non-invasive prenatal screening tests, like MaterniT21, which allow expectant parents to know their baby’s risk of being born with a genetic abnormality.

 

How does the placenta work?

The placenta is able to keep the blood supply of the mother and the blood supply of the baby separate because the placenta acts as a sort of barrier. This is important because of the mother and baby may not have the same blood type, which can lead to complications or miscarriage if their blood were to mix. 

 

The umbilical cord connects to the placenta through thousands of finger-like structures called chorionic villi that are filled with the fetus’s blood vessels. The mother’s blood then surrounds these villi, which act as a filter between the blood of the mother and her child, while still providing nutrients. 

 

What can be done with the placenta after birth?

Once the umbilical cord has been severed and the placenta has been extracted from the uterus, some women choose to save or preserve the placenta for different uses (freezing for stem cells, nutrition, etc.). Other women simply request that it be disposed of. There is no “right” or “wrong” in this situation, but if you have any questions about the role of the placenta during pregnancy or what to do with it after birth, speak with your doctor. They will be able to answer your questions and provide you with any resources you may need.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/what-is-the-placenta/

https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/fetal-life-support-system/

https://www.thebump.com/a/what-does-the-placenta-do?locale=es-us

https://www.integratedgenetics.com/patients/pregnancy/maternit21plus

https://www.babycenter.com/0_the-placenta-what-it-is-and-how-it-works_40005564.bc

https://biologydictionary.net/placenta/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/what-is-the-placenta/

https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/fetal-life-support-system/

https://www.thebump.com/a/what-does-the-placenta-do?locale=es-us

Natural Childbirth Options

Giving birth is without a doubt one of the most significant experiences a woman will ever have, and given the importance of the event, many women think long and hard about how they want the birth of their child to go. Childbirth is a natural and awesome process that draws on every ounce of a woman’s strength, both physically and emotionally. All of this is why many women choose to have a midwife or “doula’ with them to help offer support and expertise during the process.

Going Natural

Today there is a trend towards natural childbirth that began as a reaction against the over-medicalization of childbirth. While many women do choose to give birth in hospitals, the trend towards having a more natural experience, even in a hospital setting, is becoming more accepted. While in the past women were often sedated during childbirth, today most medical providers support the idea that it’s healthier for a woman to be awake during childbirth, dealing with the birth pain with a minimum of medication.

Today many women are going back to the idea of having a birth at home, with the assistance of a midwife. Others choose to go to a birthing center that is attached to a hospital, so if emergency medical assistance is needed, it is close by. In both cases, the birth is overseen by an experienced midwife, from centers like lakeland midwifery care, who will offer emotional and physical support for the mother during the birth.

A midwife will have medical training as well as a knowledge of how to help the mother stay calm so that the need for pain relief is minimized. Today many mothers are choosing this route for childbirth, as it has been found to be a very natural and successful choice for bringing a baby into the world. Ultimately, the way a baby comes into the world should be a mother’s choice, as long as she can be reassured that the process will be a safe one for her and her baby.

Why a Cafe is the Perfect Place to Meet Other Moms

If you’re a mom who is looking to make friends with other moms, such as if you are a stay-at-home mom who occasionally misses adult interaction, then try spending a little time at a local cafe. It’s the perfect place to meet other moms for these reasons.

It Doesn’t Cost Much

Many moms find that they are on a tight budget. After all, paying bills and raising kids can be quite expensive. Plus, many stay-at-home moms are trying to raise their kids and take care of their responsibilities on just one income, so spending a lot of money on fun stuff isn’t always an option. Luckily, a good cafe Acworth GA usually has tasty options that don’t cost too much.

They’re Busiest During the Day

You might not be able to go out much at night since you have kids at home. Instead, you might be hoping to go out somewhere during the day. Cafes are usually the busiest during the day, so this is the perfect fit for adults who don’t like to go out late.

They Often Encourage Hanging Out

Some businesses are set up in a way to get customers in and out quickly. Others are designed to encourage people to spend time there. If you choose a great cafe, it should have a nice, chill vibe that is perfect for hanging out for a while and meeting and chatting with other moms.

Kids are Allowed

Some of the other places where you might go to hang out with other moms might not be very welcoming for kids. It is usually not a problem to bring kids into a cafe with you, though, as long as they are well-behaved. Just make sure that you bring something along for your kids to entertain themselves with while you’re there, such as a few coloring books, a tablet or a handheld game. When searching for the perfect place to meet other moms, don’t forget about your local cafe. Once you start visiting and making friends there, you might want to visit regularly.

Mindfulness During Pregnancy: Why It’s Beneficial for You and Baby

Mindfulness refers to the process of focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while simultaneously acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, bodily sensations, and thoughts regarding the moment. Mindfulness is not something that most people just achieve and in fact, requires a significant amount of patience, self-awareness, and motivation to attain. That said, the effort is well worth it, especially if you are expecting.

Anxiety Is a Very Real Part of Pregnancy

Expectant mothers do much more than sit around looking radiant until the birth of their little ones. In addition to working full-time jobs, as approximately 75 percent of all mothers do, a good majority of mothers-to-be spend much of the 40 weeks leading up to their due dates worrying and preparing for their littles’ arrivals. According to one report, 21 percent of expectant mothers live with serious anxiety, while another 18 percent experience depression throughout the duration of their pregnancies. In addition to living with those diagnosable mental conditions, many expectant mothers lay sleepless at night going over shopping lists, finances, to-dos, and countless other worries about which non-parents typically don’t think.

Mindfulness May Help

Up until recently, expectant mothers were forced to bear their mental stresses alone. This was often the case regardless of whether a woman had a supportive partner or not. However, thanks to advanced research and forward-thinking attitudes of many members of society, pregnant women may no longer have to shoulder the mental burden of pregnancy on their own, or at all. The Way International and other organizations have devised techniques to help ease one’s mental load. One such technique is mindfulness. Below are just four ways in which mindfulness may positively impact pregnant women’s stress levels and lead to healthier newborns:

Mindfulness Reduces Stress

Anxiety is a normal reaction to pregnancy, but if you let your anxiety get the best of you, it can lead to high blood pressure and pregnancy complications. Traditionally, doctors recommend bed rest to keep stress levels at bay, but for many women, bed rest is the least helpful solution.

Though pilot studies are still being conducted, those that have been conducted found that meditation and mindfulness have a significant positive impact on pregnant women’s stress levels. In each study, the group who participated in mindfulness programs saw a greater decrease in pregnancy anxiety and all the negative emotions that come with it compared to control groups who either participated in bed rest or who read a book.

Mindfulness May Prevent Premature Birth

Again, though the science is still out on the subject, students indicate that mindfulness exercises such as yoga, meditation and spirituality may lower one’s risk of giving birth to a preemie. Preemies are at risk for breathing problems, hearing and vision issues, and developmental delays. Moreover, mothers of preemies tend to experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress than mothers of full-term babies.

Two studies’ results suggest that mindfulness may prevent premature birth. In one study of 355 participants, half were told to practice yoga and meditation and the other half were asked to walk for one hour a day. The half who practiced yoga gave birth to less premature babies than the half who walked.

In another study, 199 women either received standard prenatal care or partook in a mindfulness program. Only six percent of those who participated in a mindfulness program gave birth to preemies, compared with 16 percent of women in the other group.

Mindfulness May Encourage Healthy Development

A 2015 study that tracked mothers who participated in mindfulness programs beginning in the second semester noted that their babies had less developmental delays than babies born to mothers who did not practice mindfulness. The babies of mindful mothers were easier to calm down and have fewer issues adjusting to new situations. They also demonstrated more effortful control than babies of non-mindful mothers.

Mindfulness is an art, and it does require practice and patience, but in the end, it is well worth the effort. When you experience a happy, healthy, and relaxing pregnancy, you will agree.

Why Finding a Support Group that Fits Your Lifestyle is Important


Many women have this idea that they are expected to be able to do everything by themselves – taking care of all the needs their family, staying in tip-top physical shape while looking flawless, keeping an immaculately clean home, being a fantastic chef, volunteering at their children’s school, and much more. That, though, is for television, not reality.

Everyday life has enough ups and downs to stress anyone out. Women are often under-appreciated for all that they do, and finding that more is expected of them, or worse, discovering that what they have already accomplished failed to meet someone else’s expectations, only adds to our problem. So, what can we do? One option is to find a womens support group. But we should look for one that matches our needs well.

Finding an exact match is a rarity, of course. Looking at what creates the most amount of stress in your life is the best place to start. If your stress starts with your role as caregiver for an elderly parent or disabled child, looking for a support group that has caregiving, disabilities, health issues, and so on as its focus would be a great choice. Those topics are always going to be a much better match than a group whose members are helping each other cope with domestic violence, grief and bereavement, or addiction. If your life has dealt you more than one major stressor, there’s no rule that you cannot join two (or more) groups if you want to do so.

But why join a support group and tell everyone there about your problems in the first place? Because it can help you in many ways, ways that can help you manage everything centering on the stressor. This can also help you manage other areas of your life by freeing up your time and helping you be more confident and more relaxed.

Another benefit is that telling someone, especially someone who is sympathetic to your situation, can help you find ways to cope with it better. Talking about it to others also helps you rephrase the situation in your own mind, and doing so can, in turn, help you see different nuances of recurring situations in another way.

Also, helping others cope with something that is impacting their lives in a negative manner can help you feel better about yourself, not to mention the break you get by being in another environment that is focused on you and others with the same concerns that you have.

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