The conception and growth of a new life inside a woman’s body is a miracle in itself. The changes that take place therein are nature’s way to nourish the baby and make the mother ready for birth. One of the most miraculous aspects of pregnancy is the growth of the placenta. A temporary organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy, it acts as a life support system for the fetus and plays a significant role in fetal growth throughout pregnancy. The placenta comes out after birth and is often discarded as medical waste. However, placental tissue can also be of great value, and banking has become one of the priorities for new parents. Let us explain the amazing role of the placenta in pregnancy and after birth.

Placenta’s role during pregnancy
Although the placenta is an organ that develops only during pregnancy, it plays as important a role as the other vital organs. Apart from supplying oxygen to the fetus, it also eliminates waste products like carbon dioxide from the fetal blood. The immune and oxygen molecules in the blood are carried across the amniotic sac into the baby’s blood vessels via the umbilical cord, which connects the placenta to the baby. Similarly, the toxic substances in the baby’s blood are passed back to the mother’s blood through the umbilical cord. The placenta has a significant role to play in both the processes. Besides enriching the blood with oxygen and clearing out toxins, it also sends across nutrients to the little one for its growth.

Placenta’s role after the birth
Surprisingly, the role of this organ is not confined to nourishing the baby while inside your womb. The placental tissue is a valuable source of stem cells, which have the potential to save your child from a host of diseases in the future. No wonder, preserving it has become a common practice these days. You would surely want to know facts like When did placental tissue banking start, how it is done, how much it costs, and what are its potential benefits. The service has been around for a decade now and involves collaboration with a private service provider. Though you have to pay for it, placental tissue banking is worthwhile because it can be used for treating wounds and certain eye conditions. Moreover, clinical trials are being conducted to establish its efficacy for conditions such as cancers, organ failure, cerebral palsy, and injuries to bones and joints.

How is the placenta delivered?
In a vaginal delivery, the placenta comes out naturally after the baby. Regarded as the third stage of labor, this happens through mild contractions. While the healthcare provider may help its expulsion by massaging the woman’s lower abdomen, a medication called oxytocin may be given to continue uterine contractions. For C-section deliveries, it is removed manually during surgery. Finally, when the placenta is expelled, it can be preserved and given to a cord blood bank.

The importance of the placenta during and after pregnancy cannot be undermined. As a parent, the decision of banking your placental tissue makes sense because it is as good as taking biological insurance for your child and family.