Placenta or arithmetic is an organ that plays an important role during pregnancy, namely as an organ that serves to channel blood and nutrients from the mother to the fetus. The function of the placenta is very important to ensure the baby is healthy while in the mother’s womb. In addition, there are still many functions that need to be discussed thoroughly below.
The placenta weighs approximately one-sixth of the baby’s weight. This organ has a flat or almost round round shape with a midline of about 15-20 cm, a thickness of 2.5 cm, and an average weight of up to 0.5 kg. Unlike other organs, the placenta has no nerve cells so it is not controlled directly by the spinal cord or brain. This is because the arithmetic organs are formed only during pregnancy and the task ends during labor.
The placenta’s task is really heavy. During pregnancy, about 550 ml of blood per minute is pumped into the uterus to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. This process can only be done by the placenta. The placenta’s task is like an electronic charger, which is to filter, process, then channel.
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The placenta plays an important role in the early trimester to the final trimester of pregnancy to ensure that the baby is born safely.
Table of Contents
These are the 12 Functions of the Placenta during pregnancy that are important for the growth of babies in the womb.
1. Nutrition Supply
The most important and important function of the placenta is to supply nutrients to the baby while in the womb. The placenta will drain blood and then up to the umbilical cord that connects the mother’s blood to the blood of her baby. That is the function in supplying nutrients for babies.
Trofoblas digests proteins and then inserts them into fetal blood.
The placenta acts like a lung for the fetus. But that role does not mean the placenta breathes. The meaning of placenta with lung-like bereran is placenta into a medium of blood exchange. The blood of the mother rich in oxygen (O2) is flowed to the blood of the fetus, then the blood rich in carbon dioxide (CO2) from the fetus is flowed to the mother’s blood.
The placenta also functions like a kidney, i.e. filtering the blood in an effort to eliminate harmful substances that can affect the health of the baby. Urea waste is released from fetal blood to the mother’s blood and then filtered and finally removed by the mother’s kidneys.
5. Placenta as storage media
The placenta stores iron, glycogen, and fat to meet the fetal life needs, because the fetal liver has not been formed perfectly.
6. Barrier wall
Another important function is as an efficient barrier wall that can filter the mother’s blood before flowing it to the baby. As a barrier wall, the placenta is able to block some harmful substances or diseases contained in the mother’s blood so that it does not enter the baby’s blood. But harmful substances such as nicotine and drugs can still go through the placenta. Therefore, pregnant women are obliged to stop smoking and avoid drugs for the sake of the health of the baby in the womb.
IgG antibodies can go through the placenta to provide protection to the baby in the womb. These antibodies are distributed at the beginning of the 20th week and 24th of gestation.
This passive immunity is still in the fetal body for several months after delivery, so the newborn has long-term humoral immunity so that the baby gets protection from the threat of infection. Humoral immunity is a macromolecular-mediated immunity found in extracellular fluids such as secreted antibodies, complementary proteins, and certain antimicrobial peptides.
Unfortunately other antibodies, such as IgM, cannot go through the placenta, so some infections acquired while pregnant are still at risk to the fetus.
8. Placenta Function As Endocrine
The placenta has a function as an endocrine gland that secretes several hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). These hormones are useful in maintaining pregnancy, fetal growth, speeding up the mother’s metabolism, and preparing the condition of the mother’s body to breastfeed after childbirth. More details are on the next point.
9. Produce HCG
The first hormone produced by the placenta is called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The hormone HCG plays a role in stopping the menstrual cycle by maintaining corpus luteum in the ovaries. The corpus luteum produces and releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen, and hCG stimulates to increase its production so that pregnancy can be maintained.
For the record, in women who are not pregnant, the corpus luteum in the ovaries slowly disappears and decreases in function, as a result of which the hormones estrogen and progesterone are initially high to low resulting in menstruation or the coming of the month. When women do pregnancy tests, you are actually checking the hormone HCG. Tespek can be done during late menstruation, namely on the 7th-10th day after implantation.
HCG also has an anti-antibody impact, protecting the fetus from maternal rejection reactions as well as helping the male fetus by stimulating the testicles to produce testosterone.
10. Produce Estrogen
Estrogen is a hormone that stimulates the enlargement of the breast and uterus so that the fetus can grow and breast milk can be produced. Estrogen also serves to increase the blood supply ahead of childbirth through vasodilation activity. Estrogen levels of pregnant women can increase up to 30 times that of women who are not pregnant.
11. Produce Progesterone
Progesterone helps embryos to be attached and embedded in the mother’s uterus. In addition progesterone affects the fallopian tubes and uterus by stimulating the increase in secretions needed for fetal nutrition. As with hCG, this hormone is needed to prevent miscarriage (spontaneous aborstus).
12. Placenta Produces Lactogen Hormones
Producing human hormone placenta lactogen (hPL). The hormone hPL is identical to the structure of female growth hormone. But hPL in pregnant women, can reach 1000 times the normal concentration. HPL function is responsible for inhibiting the mother’s insulin so that blood glucose does not get too much into the mother’s body cells.
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12 functions play a role during pregnancy and maintain the safety of the baby in the womb.