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.



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.

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.

Are You Having A Baby? Here are Some Preparation Tips


My son Toby and I

When I found out I was pregnant many years back, I felt excited and anxious. Who will my baby look like? Will he or she like me? Will everything be okay? Will I be a good mom to him or her? Questions that can only bring fear and hope to a new mom like me. To help ease the uneasiness and the anxiety, I am sharing some of the preparation new moms-to-be can do.

Physical preparation. Go and get yourself checked by a trusted OB-GYNE. The doctor will perform a series of tests that can help you be sure that the pregnancy is going well and that the baby is growing and developing. Regular ultrasound procedures in Adelaide sonography can be scheduled to ensure that everything is well.

Mental preparation. Aside from the physical changes, you need  to be aware of the physiological changes that you will go through. Read pregnancy related books and talk to your mom friends to have an idea what to expect in the coming months. Each trimester of the pregnancy brings changes to the body of the mother. Parenting books will also help ease the worries of moms and dads as they begin to understand what sort of care they should give to their newborn child.

Financial preparation. In the Philippines, preparing for child birth is a must. Make sure that you save for the delivery of the baby and the arrival of the baby. The hospital costs are quite expensive and anticipating the needs of the baby can help you plan your finances.

Spiritual preparation. Caring for a new baby is not just a physical job but a spiritual one as well. It is important to learn that being a mom also means leading your child spiritually to God. You begin doing this as soon as your baby is born and it will be a whole lot easier if you start early.

Will Pineapple Help Increase IVF Success Rates?

Infertility is definitely an issue that is depressing. That is especially the case for the couple that has been trying for a really long time. Based on the problem that causes the infertility, treatment options are discussed and chosen. You can click here for a list of the different options that are available but one of the really popular options is IVF (in-vitro fertilization). This is a procedure in which the sperm and the eggs are combined in lab conditions. As the egg is fertilized, it would form an embryo that is then placed inside the woman’s womb for a normal pregnancy.
In-vitro fertilization is highly complicated and expensive. Success rate is not as high as we may want to think so it is quite obvious that women would do anything in order to increase possibilities. A trick that is recommended at the moment is increasing consumption of pineapple. It was mentioned that one pineapple that is eaten before and one that is eaten after the implantation will increase the chance of having a successful IVF cycle. Is that the case?

Pineapple Health Benefits
Pineapples contain bromelain, which is an enzyme that has various health benefits. Besides this, pineapple will be loaded with various vitamins and minerals like vitamin B1, B6, C and folate. Also, we have high dietary fibers. Pineapple is a delicious fruit and promotes proper health in various different ways. We have anti inflammatory and anti oxidant actions, offering a protection from various disease numbers. This does include heart disease. At the same time, pineapple will improve immunity and will enhance digestive function. You will want to seriously consider pineapple consumption because of various reasons.

Pineapple Consumption And IVF
Pineapple does have many health benefits, just as it was mentioned below. However, we do not have definite proof of how the fruit will increase IVF success rate. This is something that has to be considered. If you want to think about pineapple, you should be aware of the fact that bromelain presence is the reason why this may be the case. It was proven that bromelain has an effect like aspirin. It will act as a really good blood thinner and anticoagulant. That will increase uterus blood flow, just as with taking aspirin. In case you did not know, aspirin is prescribed to the woman that has recurrent miscarriages during the IVF cycle.

Bromelain’s anti inflammatory properties will favour embryo implantation and conception. If you want implantation to be successful, your body has to become stronger from an anti inflammatory point of view. Pineapple would increase IVF success rates because of this.

Although we can say that there is no proof that pineapple consumption will help during IVF cycles, it does not mean that you should not consider this possibility. There is basically nothing wrong with consuming pineapple. In fact, it is really important that you improve your nutrition because of the fact that this is going to have only associated health benefits. Do remember that!