We know the placenta is an important part of pregnancy, but when it comes to what it does and where exactly it fits, things get a little fuzzy. Over the years I’ve seen a number of photos of the meaty-looking organ laid flat, but only recently did I see a picture of a placenta and the amniotic sac stretched out — and suddenly it’s a little more clear.
Marry Fermont, of Fermont Fotografie in the Netherlands, has put together a collection of images and information about placenta to help educate expecting parents. Take a look:
First and foremost, the placenta is the organ which allows your baby to grow and develop. No placenta = no baby, so it’s high time we give it some more attention.
The placenta ensures your baby gets all the nutrients and oxygen it needs, and removes waste products.
One side of the placenta is known as the maternal side. I call this ‘the ugly side’ of the placenta. It’s flabby, and is the side which is attached to the wall of the uterus.
The other side of the placenta is known as the fetal side, and this is the beautiful side. This is the side which your baby can see.
You can clearly see veins running through it, which makes it look like a tree of life. Very symbolic.
Completing the placenta is the amniotic sac/membranes, and your baby ‘lives’ inside the membranes.
If you want to see it after birth, you can see where baby fit inside and ‘lived’ during your pregnancy. Depending on where your membranes broke during birth you can sometimes recreate the baby’s ‘home’ really nicely.
There are actually two membranes against each other, known as the amnion and the chorion.
In 99 percent of cases the umbilical cord ends in the placenta, but the location varies. It can be in the center but it can also be at the side.
Placentas come in all shapes and sizes. How amazing is this one that looks like a heart?
Incredible, right? I love seeing the light shine through to show where baby fit in the sac with the placenta! You can check out more images and information on her blog.
Years after giving birth I still don’t think I made the wrong choice for myself by passing on eating or encapsulating my placenta, but I do quite like about learning how everything comes together to create new life. There’s something about knowing what amazing work this particular organ does that makes me feel a little less “ewww” and lot more “ahhh” about the whole thing.
Did you take a look at your placenta after birth? Eat it, encapsulate it, make art or bury it? Share with us what you chose and why by leaving a comment below!
Photos shared with permission from Marry Fermont of Fermont Fotografie, whom you can also connect with on Facebook.
We’ve covered where baby fits in the amniotic sac — now a look back at Marry’s work photographing how baby fits in the womb.
This post was originally published in October, 2015