The Placenta

You'll delivery the placenta, or afterbirth, a few minutes after you delivery your baby.

About 5 minutes after you give birth, when your partner and the nurses and anyone else who happens to be in the room are admiring your baby, your uterus will still be at work, squeezing out the placenta. After a few mild contractions, you'll deliver the placenta (also called the afterbirth, for obvious reasons).

The placenta is the organ that connects you and your baby. It develops from the outermost layer of cells on the fertilized egg. It takes oxygen and nutrients from the mother's bloodstream and supplies them to the fetus. It also removes the baby's waste products, depositing them in the mother's blood for elimination by the kidneys. The baby is connected to the placenta by the umbilical cord.

Watch for signs of placenta previa and placental abruption, two problems that can occur with this critical organ. Talk to your provider about any concerns you may have.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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