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At the same time lung, intestine and kidney of your future baby, the placenta has for major role to allow the exchanges between him and you. Associated for nine months with the fetus, the placenta is almost a brother or a real twin for your baby.
- Seven days after fertilization, the embryo nestles in the wall of your uterus. It consists of an embryonic bud and an envelope, the trophoblast. The latter invades your uterine lining, like a tree rooted in soil, reaches your blood vessels and "remodels" them. This process is crucial for the good development of the fetus: it allows a significant contribution of blood in the units of the trophoblast.
- After a month, it has thickened to become a real organ: the placenta. It has two distinct faces: one attached to the uterus, the other connected to your future baby by the umbilical cord. At birth, it will measure 18 to 20 cm in diameter and will weigh between 400 and 600 g depending on the weight of your child.
The placenta: an organ of exchange
- The placenta, "galette" in Latin, has the primary function of feeding the embryo, then the fetus. During pregnancy, it drains oxygen and essential nutrients - proteins, glucose, fatty acids - to the fetal circulation.
- To best fulfill this role, it deploys an impressive trading surface. Not less than 14 m2 where circulates an estimated blood network after 9 months of pregnancy to more than 550 km.
- On the maternal side, the placenta is composed of small units, called the intervillous chambers. Each contains a "blood lake" where your blood flows. It is at this level that exchanges between you and your future baby are made. In late pregnancy, blood flow in the intervillous chamber is estimated at 600 ml / min.
- If the placenta develops poorly or is suffering, your baby is not growing well. Nourishing organ par excellence, it is actually the intestine of the fetus. The placenta is also a lung because it brings oxygen to your baby via the cord and removes carbon dioxide from the blood. It also acts as a kidney since it takes care of the elimination of toxins.
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