PLACENTA, UMBILICAL CORD AND AMNIOTIC
The baby develops in the uterus with a life support system for the fetus and is composed of
umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid which is filled of amniotic fluid. The placenta is a pancake shaped
organ and is attached to the uterus. The placenta is connected to fetus with the help of the umbilical cord.
Hormones that are related to pregnancy are produced by the placenta that includes estrogen, progesterone and
Role of the placenta
The responsibility of the placenta is to act as a point of trade between the circulatory system
of the mother and the baby. There are several small blood vessels that carry the blood form the fetus and goes
through the placenta that is full of the mother’s blood. The waste products of the fetus are transferred to the
mother’s blood. The two blood supplies do not mix with each other. After the birth of the baby the placenta is
expelled from the body of the mother and this process is called after-birth. There may be some complications of
the placenta due to pregnancy the most common of which is placenta previa. In this the placenta is attached over
or near the cervix. With the growth of the fetus there is pressure on the placenta and due to this reason there
may be bleeding. If this condition occurs there is need for medical care so that one can be ensured of a safe
labor for the baby.
Role of the umbilical cord
The umbilical cord is called the life line and it is through this cord that the placenta and the
fetus are attached to each other. There are three blood vessels in the umbilical cord. There are two small
arteries and a vein. The arteries carry blood to and from the placenta and the vein returns blood. This cord can
grow to a length of 60 cm which allows the baby to have enough space to move safely without damaging the
placenta or the umbilical cord. After the birth of the baby an incision is made in the cord so that the baby can
be removed from the mother. The remaining portion of the cord heals and the belly button of the baby is formed.
During the time of pregnancy it can be found that the umbilical cord is in the form of a knot or at times this
cord is wrapped around the body of the baby. This is a common phenomenon and there is no prevention for this.
This does not pose any risk or threat to the baby or the mother.
Another important life support system for the baby is the amniotic sac that is filled with
fluids and is the home for the baby. It protects the fetus from shocks and other pressures. This sac allows the
fetus good amount of space so that it can move around and in the process helps in building the muscles of the