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What is the placenta?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

The placenta is the metabolic and respiratory support center for the fetus. The placenta is attached to the uterine lining and the umbilical cord connects the placenta to the fetus. The placenta separates the maternal and fetal circulatory systems. Nutrients and oxygen from the maternal blood are transported or diffused across the placenta and into the fetal circulation, while fetal waste produces are transferred from fetal circulation across the placenta and into the maternal system for excretion. The placenta also produces pregnancy related hormones such human placenta lactogen, estrogen and progesterone.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.