What does the placenta do?

The placenta is an extremely complex piece of biological equipment. A little bit like an artificial kidney (dialysis machine), it allows your blood and the baby''s to come into very close contact without ever mixing. This enables your blood to pass across nutrients and oxygen to the baby, and waste products like carbon dioxide to go back from baby to mother. It acts as the lung, kidney and digestive system for the baby. It also produces hormones that are necessary to maintain the pregnancy, such as oestrogen and progesterone.

How the placenta works
Where the placenta adheres to the womb wall, it consists of very fine blood vessels that contain fetal blood. These are enveloped by pools of the mother''''s blood and this is where fluids, nutrients, and gases are exchanged.

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