What is placenta?

  • The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
  • The placenta is made up of tissues, fluids, and other materials that cover and support the embryo in the uterus.
  • The placenta connects to the uterus by way of long umbilical cord-like structures called ‘placental cords’.

The placenta has two layers:

1. The outer layer helps create a barrier and prevents substances from entering or exiting

2. Inner layer is where nutrients enter from blood vessels on one side of the sheet, flow past the embryo and leave in blood vessels on the other side.

What does the placenta do?

The placenta is a temporary organ that provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby. This means that during pregnancy, the placenta takes on some of the important functions of an unborn child’s lungs, liver and kidneys. The placenta also helps filter out harmful substances, like waste products and infectious organisms, from the baby’s blood stream.

What affects the health of the placenta?

This organ’s health is closely linked to that of both mother and child during pregnancy. the baby, as well as removing waste from the baby's blood.

Good health of a placenta is crucial for maternal and fetal well-being during pregnancy. The placenta can be exposed to a lot of factors that could lead to its deterioration - like infection, smoking or alcohol, drugs and radiation.

Factors that can affect the health of the placenta during the pregnancy.

  • Maternal age
  • Placental weight
  • Gestational age (i.e., how far into pregnancy)
  • Multiparity
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Stressful living conditions
  • Inner workings of mother's immune system
  • Abnormalities in fetal positioning
  • Poor diet
  • Infections
  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal trauma

What are the most common placental problems?

The most common placental problems are

  • Placental abruption - A woman's placenta may detach from her uterine lining and it will separate from the uterus while the baby is still inside.
  • Placenta Previa - This means that the placenta blocks the cervix which makes it harder to give birth.
  • Placenta Accreta - This means that the placenta has grown into the uterine wall.
  • Retained placenta - When part of the placenta does not come out with the baby and has to be manually removed by a doctor for it to stop bleeding.

What are signs or symptoms of placental problems?

Placenta problems are not uncommon in pregnancy. Signs and symptoms of placental problems include:

  • Abnormal fetal heart rate patterns, such as very slow heartbeat or rapid (tachycardia) heart rate
  • Severe morning sickness or vomiting that lasts all day
  • Pain in the abdomen, back, or pelvis
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Early labor
  • Unexpected pregnancy loss

What can I do to reduce my risk of placental problems?

The placenta is a layer of tissue between the mother and the unborn baby. It helps to provide oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Placentas are usually very healthy, but some people are at risk for placental problems.

There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of placental problems. These include:

  • Getting plenty of rest, especially during pregnancy
  • Eating nutritious foods and avoiding substances like caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs that can harm your baby's health
  • Avoiding exposure to chemicals in products like air fresheners or detergents that can affect you or your unborn baby
  • Avoiding exposure to infections by washing hands and avoiding contact with those who have an infection
  • Visit your healthcare provider or gynaecologist regularly throughout your pregnancy.

Dr. Astha Dayal one of the most experienced Gynecologist and Obstetrician in Gurgaon Haryana specialised in Placenta Issues in pregnancy treatment

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