26 Functions Of The Placenta

Being knowledgeable of the placenta functions gives insight into prenatal life and is helpful in providing nursing care to the unborn and the newborn. The placenta functions as a transport mechanism between the embryo and the mother (see figure 2-6). The placenta has many tasks: it transports oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies to the fetus by means of the umbilical vein; removes carbon dioxide and metabolic wastes from the fetus by the two umbilical arteries; serves as a protective barrier against harmful effects of certain drugs and microorganisms; acts as a partial barrier between the mother and fetus to prevent fetal and maternal blood from mixing; and produces hormones essential for maintaining the pregnancy. (The hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)).

Fetal Umbilical Placental Circulation
Figure 2-6. The placental circulation.

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Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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