As your baby grows and matures while you are pregnant, he isn’t the only one that grows! Parts around your womb begin to develop as well to keep your baby alive. One of those parts that grow in your uterus is the placenta. But what exactly is the placenta and when does the placenta take over?
It’s crucial to know what happens while you’re pregnant, especially with what happens as your placenta begins to develop. After all, it’s the lifeline between your baby and blood supply! Read on as I show the things you’ll need to know about the placenta and when it begins to take over.
What is a Placenta?
We can call the placenta a temporary organ necessary to supply nutrients to your baby. Like what I mentioned, it’s what keeps your baby alive! Not only does the placenta help with nutrient absorption, but it’s also crucial for waste management and oxygen distribution, both critical in helping your baby stay alive and grow.
Before the placenta fully forms, the ovary creates a corpus luteum, which will temporarily act as the placenta.
The placenta is found in the uterine wall, connecting to your baby with the umbilical cord. It’s two equal parts for both baby and mother. The placenta is made up of blood vessels, formed through collected cells that move to the uterus. It then attaches to the uterine wall, where it takes over the corpus luteum when fully functional.
But the placenta doesn’t fully form immediately. Your body creates the placenta during the first trimester but doesn’t fully take over yet!
Here’s a video explaining the placenta and how it develops over time:
When Does the Placenta Take Over?
Like what I said, your placenta only forms during your first trimester but isn’t entirely put to use just yet. It begins to function come the second trimester, slowly gaining full control and use.
Usually, the placenta would take over on the 12th week of pregnancy, though there is no specific date for all mothers (source). Once functional, the placenta would take the full control in producing hormones to help keep you and your baby healthy, taking over in taking care of your baby until he is out of your womb.
The number of placentas will vary if you carry more than one child. Usually, twins would have one placenta each, while identical twins can share one (split in two).
So what happens during the first trimester, while the placenta is still being formed?
As your placenta slowly takes charge in nutrient absorption, your body would produce progesterone to keep the baby healthy. Once the placenta takes over and begins to produce its progesterone, your body’s hormonal levels begin to change, which usually results in fewer pregnancy symptoms such as nausea.
As the placenta takes over, you will also notice that other things will happen to your body. Your breasts are more sensitive as it prepares the milk for your baby. Also, the hormonal levels your body products will temporarily surge, causing fatigue and emotional changes.
When giving birth, your placenta will be pushed out after your baby.
Taking Care of The Placenta and Baby
Now that you know what a placenta is and what it does for you and your baby, how will you be able to take care of yourself to keep your placenta functioning healthily for you and your baby? Here are some things to stay healthy:
- Always eat right and take supplements if you are deficient in certain vitamins. Reduce your intake on processed sugars and junk food.
- While you can carry on with exercises and daily errands, know when to take your bed rest, especially if you feel pain around your stomach.
- Avoid using any form of drugs or medicine not prescribed by your doctor. If you plan on using supplements or medications, consult a medical professional beforehand.
- Always have daily checkups for your placenta by the doctor to assure that there are no problems whatsoever. If you find any abnormalities in size or pregnancy symptoms, then consult your doctor to be safe and rule out any diseases.
For pregnant mothers-to-be, it’s crucial to know all the developments as you and your baby begin to grow together. Not only will it help you understand how your baby grows, but it will also give you an idea on how to properly take care of yourself and the baby while carrying him.
I hope this article answers your question: “When does the placenta take over?” Now that you know how the placenta works, you can properly take care of your body as it begins to develop and grow.
If you have any questions or would like to share more about the stages of pregnancy, then comment down below. I would love to hear about what you have to think!
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