16 Life Sustaining Placentas

Placentas are pretty amazing organs!
Here are a few interesting facts that were compiled by Kayla Gonzales.

The placenta functions as a gland, secreting important hormones during pregnancy...

...including Human Chorionic Gonadatropin (hCG), which stimulates the production of estrogen and progesterone, is associated with morning sickness, and is the hormone detected by pregnancy tests to produce a positive result. Estrogen, which is responsible for increasing blood flow and stimulating uterine growth, as well as the growth of breast tissue. Progesterone, which maintains the uterine lining for successful implantation and the support of a pregnancy. Human Placental Lactogen, responsible for speeding up the mother's metabolism to keep up with the energy requirements for growing a baby. The placenta also secretes Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1) responsible for the development of Gestational Diabetes in some women.

 

The placenta is a multifunctional organ...

...acting as baby's lungs to supply oxygen, kidneys to filter out waste, and as gastrointestinal and immune systems by delivering nutrients and antibodies. 

 

The placenta is the only disposable organ.

Although there are other organs that we can function fine without, the placenta is the only organ that naturally expels itself when it's purpose is fulfilled. Each pregnancy grows a new placenta to support that baby perfectly. 

 

The blood of both mother and baby pass through the placenta, but never mix.

Every minute, one pint of blood is pumped to the uterus, exchanging oxygen and nutrients via the placenta. The mother's blood and baby's never mix, however, if they did, the mother's immune system would create antibodies for the baby's blood in an attempt to get rid of it. Instead, the baby's blood and mother's blood pass through separate arteries in the placenta.

 

Identical twins may or may not share a placenta.

Depending on when the fertilized egg splits, there may be one shared placenta, or one placenta for each fetus! If the egg separates before the formation of the placenta, there will be two, if it splits after, only one.

 

Fetal cells can transfer to the mother through the placenta.

Fetal cells have been found in the skin, liver, kidney, and bone marrow of pregnant women. They may target and help heal injured areas, and there is evidence that they exist in higher quantities in diseased tissue. 

 

Many women consume their placentas after birth.

Anecdotal evidence shows that mothers who eat their placentas after birth reap numerous benefits, including more balanced hormones, increased energy and milk supply, a reduction in postpartum bleeding, and replenished iron stores.

 

Now that you know some cool things about the placenta, check out these even  cooler images of them...
Heads up, at least one is NSFW. 

The placenta serves as the lungs, gut, kidneys, and liver of the fetus. Truly an amazing organ that our bodies create specifically to support a new little life. www.honeysucklephoto.com

The placenta serves as the lungs, gut, kidneys, and liver of the fetus. Truly an amazing organ that our bodies create specifically to support a new little life.
www.honeysucklephoto.com

Definition of placenta: a flattened organ in the uterus that nourishes the fetus through the umbilical cord. Lcrazebirthphotography.co.uk https://www.facebook.com/lilliancrazebirthphotography/

Definition of placenta: a flattened organ in the uterus that nourishes the fetus through the umbilical cord.
Lcrazebirthphotography.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/lilliancrazebirthphotography/

 saying hi to his womb mate! K. Reeder Photography

 saying hi to his womb mate! K. Reeder Photography

I photographed a placenta encapsulation process ❤ Little Plum Photography by Stephanie Entin www.littleplumphoto.com

I photographed a placenta encapsulation process ❤ Little Plum Photography by Stephanie Entin www.littleplumphoto.com

This mama is a placenta encapsulator and had an unassisted birth. After the baby was born she examined her own placenta and her kids were over the moon excited to be able to finally touch one!  Harmony Photography

This mama is a placenta encapsulator and had an unassisted birth. After the baby was born she examined her own placenta and her kids were over the moon excited to be able to finally touch one! 
Harmony Photography

"The tree of life and the home of a little one for 9 months" www.shirleyannephotography.com

"The tree of life and the home of a little one for 9 months"
www.shirleyannephotography.com

The home and lifeline for 9 months.. www.picsbypaula.com

The home and lifeline for 9 months..
www.picsbypaula.com

This Placenta had an almost perfect circle hole, with no other tears down throught out the sac. The paramedic who delivered the babe had the pleasure of examining it, and was amazed! Mountain Mama YYC www.mountainmamayyc.com

This Placenta had an almost perfect circle hole, with no other tears down throught out the sac. The paramedic who delivered the babe had the pleasure of examining it, and was amazed!
Mountain Mama YYC
www.mountainmamayyc.com

I love it when midwifes take the time to give a tour of a placenta for mom! Blooming Footprints Birth Services

I love it when midwifes take the time to give a tour of a placenta for mom!
Blooming Footprints Birth Services

19 Vernix Frosted Babies

Vernix.
The ultimate baby lotion. 
Did you know that, besides being a really awesome first moisturizer, vernix also has some amazing uses?

It's an antimicrobial that helps to protect baby in the womb.

It's a lubricant that helps baby to slide through the birth canal.

It helps to muffle the sound in the womb.


Also, did you know that humans are the only species to have vernix.

 

What do you do when your baby is born covered in vernix?
RUB IT IN!
Also, no need to bathe baby right away. 

 

She literally had to peel her baby off of her cause he was so thick with vernix! Fox Valley Birth and Baby foxvalleybirthandbaby.com Instagram.com/foxvalleybirthandbaby

She literally had to peel her baby off of her cause he was so thick with vernix!
Fox Valley Birth and Baby
foxvalleybirthandbaby.com
Instagram.com/foxvalleybirthandbaby

Mama Bear Upstate Birth - Doula & Birth Photography Services Letting that birthday frosting soak in!
Paula Calhoun Photography Love this little vernix baby butt

Paula Calhoun Photography
Love this little vernix baby butt

This little girl fulfilled mama's desire for an intimate and unmedicated water birth. www.lulubeaphotography.com

This little girl fulfilled mama's desire for an intimate and unmedicated water birth.
www.lulubeaphotography.com

Birth is beautiful-Captured by Ina The second image is from the same birth, the midwife scooped that out of the birth pool, I've never seen so much vernix in my life!

Birth is beautiful-Captured by Ina
The second image is from the same birth, the midwife scooped that out of the birth pool, I've never seen so much vernix in my life!

The best kind of birthday frosting there is. www.facebook.com/elisehurstphotography www.elisehurstphotography.com
I love this sweet baby's wrinkles, tiny bum and birthday frosting all over him and on mama's lip.  Harmony Photography

I love this sweet baby's wrinkles, tiny bum and birthday frosting all over him and on mama's lip. 
Harmony Photography

Vernix at 40+4 - he was covered in it (but I didn't get a great shot before they swooped in with blankets).  Jennifer Hamilton / Mamarazzi Photography

Vernix at 40+4 - he was covered in it (but I didn't get a great shot before they swooped in with blankets). 
Jennifer Hamilton / Mamarazzi Photography

Vernix birthday frosting! This little one was 40 weeks and covered in thick, amazing Vernix!  K. Reeder Photography

Vernix birthday frosting! This little one was 40 weeks and covered in thick, amazing Vernix! 
K. Reeder Photography

28 Dads Being Supportive During Labor

The role of a father is invaluable and irreplaceable. 
You see, it can be really tricky being a dad in the labor setting. 
You often feel helpless because you can't do take the labor pains away. 
But, your presence is unrivaled. 
And your support cannot be replicated. 
Thank you for being amazing dads before you even met your children. 

Here are some dads who show us all the love of fathers. 

Happy Father's Day!

Tampa Birth Photographer - Dear Little One Showing support when a c-section became imminent..

Tampa Birth Photographer - Dear Little One
Showing support when a c-section became imminent..

www.foxvalleybirthandbaby.com These two brought their sixth baby earthside together this week. Dad supported her throughout an entire pregnancy with severe hyperemisis and a PICC line and then stayed by her side through her fast and furious labor.

www.foxvalleybirthandbaby.com
These two brought their sixth baby earthside together this week. Dad supported her throughout an entire pregnancy with severe hyperemisis and a PICC line and then stayed by her side through her fast and furious labor.

This dad was by mamas side through her whole birth. Getting her cold washcloths, holding her hand, getting her water, helping her walk, he wouldn't leave his wife's side. He is what kept her grounded and gave her the strength to bring their baby earthside.  www.harmonyphotography.co

This dad was by mamas side through her whole birth. Getting her cold washcloths, holding her hand, getting her water, helping her walk, he wouldn't leave his wife's side. He is what kept her grounded and gave her the strength to bring their baby earthside. 
www.harmonyphotography.co

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com He was super supportive & it was a beautiful birth. Amazing couple to watch.

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com
He was super supportive & it was a beautiful birth. Amazing couple to watch.

Capturing the support of partners and family members is one of my favorite parts of birth photography. While some communicate without words and other are very verbal, all partnerships during birth are such a big part of the story. www.lulubeaphotography.com

Capturing the support of partners and family members is one of my favorite parts of birth photography. While some communicate without words and other are very verbal, all partnerships during birth are such a big part of the story.
www.lulubeaphotography.com

mommacollective.ca Welcoming their first baby after years of infertility and IVF.

mommacollective.ca
Welcoming their first baby after years of infertility and IVF.

His touch was all she wanted and needed.  Lo Photo

His touch was all she wanted and needed. 
Lo Photo

www.elisehurstphotography.com He kept whispering, "you are so close, mama. I know you can do it"

www.elisehurstphotography.com
He kept whispering, "you are so close, mama. I know you can do it"

www.caylalynnephotography.com Mom had been laboring for so long. She was so tired and her contractions were intense and coming quick. Dad held her through each wave as she bravely worked to bring baby into the world.

www.caylalynnephotography.com
Mom had been laboring for so long. She was so tired and her contractions were intense and coming quick. Dad held her through each wave as she bravely worked to bring baby into the world.

Birth stools are wonderful - this dad surrounded and supported his wife through every contraction.  www.annicamariephotography.com

Birth stools are wonderful - this dad surrounded and supported his wife through every contraction. 
www.annicamariephotography.com

18 Amazing Umbilical Cords

life line.
connector.
tether.

umbilical cord.

These amazing blood filled cords are proof of the physical link between mother and baby.
Just knowing that makes them even more beautiful.

Did you know that the yolk sac that was present during the very beginning stages of pregnancy, right after the egg was fertilized and began to develop, is what transforms into your baby's umbilical cord? Yup! So basically, next to your baby's heartbeat and neural tube, the umbilical cord is one of the first things to really develop.

khamphotography.com I seriously love this picture! 

khamphotography.com
I seriously love this picture! 

www.facebook.com/laurabeatrizphoto true knot in the "O"... True love

www.facebook.com/laurabeatrizphoto
true knot in the "O"... True love

www.theartofunscripted.com Curly umbilical cord on baby born via cesarean!

www.theartofunscripted.com
Curly umbilical cord on baby born via cesarean!

bloomingfootprints.com This was the thickest and also the shortest cord I had ever seen. This is from one of my first births.

bloomingfootprints.com
This was the thickest and also the shortest cord I had ever seen. This is from one of my first births.

https://www.facebook.com/m.steenrodphotography/ This little guy wasn't too happy about his dad setting him free.

https://www.facebook.com/m.steenrodphotography/
This little guy wasn't too happy about his dad setting him free.

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com It's a little hard to see, but this little man's arms and legs were all tangled in his cord.

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com
It's a little hard to see, but this little man's arms and legs were all tangled in his cord.

www.loveatfirstsightphotographydoula.com Dad cutting his sons cord after 3 girls

www.loveatfirstsightphotographydoula.com
Dad cutting his sons cord after 3 girls

www.carabjornson.com Still connected - beautiful cord and tiny toes

www.carabjornson.com
Still connected - beautiful cord and tiny toes

www.picsbypaula.com This guy...the cord is caught in his toes.

www.picsbypaula.com
This guy...the cord is caught in his toes.

www.nataliebeephotography.com Cord: The ultimate connector, the supplier of life. This cord is now limp, having done its' final job in passing the rich blood back to baby, but has yet to even be delivered itself.

www.nataliebeephotography.com
Cord: The ultimate connector, the supplier of life. This cord is now limp, having done its' final job in passing the rich blood back to baby, but has yet to even be delivered itself.

15 Beautifully Overlooked Postpartum Bellies

As a society, we have a tendency to "ooh" and "ahh" at gorgeous pregnant bellies full of life and adorable fresh newborn babies.


How often do we take notice of the beautiful postpartum belly.


The one that doesn't spring back to it's origin right away.
The one that still shows evidence of the miraculous journey that it went through to grow a human. 


Not too often, actually.
So, let's take a moment to admire the wonder that is the postpartum belly.

(disclaimer. this post is NSFW)

www.catherinewalkerphotography.com Just hours old and they've already nursed and napped in the bed she was born

www.catherinewalkerphotography.com
Just hours old and they've already nursed and napped in the bed she was born

www.lulubeaphotography.com This mama delivered a breech baby vaginally with no medication. Such determination.

www.lulubeaphotography.com
This mama delivered a breech baby vaginally with no medication. Such determination.

www.cborbaphoto.com Details of motherhood.

www.cborbaphoto.com
Details of motherhood.

www.sacredmoments.ca ~Sacred Postpartum~

www.sacredmoments.ca
~Sacred Postpartum~

www.mysacredspacesbirth.com From his mothers sacred womb, to his mothers sacred arms.  

www.mysacredspacesbirth.com
From his mothers sacred womb, to his mothers sacred arms.

 

Khamphotography.com Self Portrait-2 days postpartum after my second sweet daughter. <3 Birth doesn't always go the way we planned but I am thankful for modern medicine!

Khamphotography.com
Self Portrait-2 days postpartum after my second sweet daughter. <3 Birth doesn't always go the way we planned but I am thankful for modern medicine!

Submitted by: Lindsay W. - Photo by www.appleblossomfamilies.com To hold you to my breast...to feel you against my skin and take you in with my breath!

Submitted by: Lindsay W. - Photo by www.appleblossomfamilies.com
To hold you to my breast...to feel you against my skin and take you in with my breath!

Bloomingfootprints.com So sweet to hold your baby so close to where their first home was.

Bloomingfootprints.com
So sweet to hold your baby so close to where their first home was.

Shared by Amber F. After my natural birth, I had never been so proud of what my body looked like after what it just went through!

Shared by Amber F.
After my natural birth, I had never been so proud of what my body looked like after what it just went through!

https://austinbirthphotos.com During a quiet moment of rest after a fast labor for this first time mama, she watches as her partner holds and marvels at their new baby girl.

https://austinbirthphotos.com

During a quiet moment of rest after a fast labor for this first time mama, she watches as her partner holds and marvels at their new baby girl.

www.picsbypaula.com Baby feet, on the outside of where I once was inside...mommy's belly.

www.picsbypaula.com
Baby feet, on the outside of where I once was inside...mommy's belly.

www.tampabirthphotographer.com It was all worth it.

www.tampabirthphotographer.com
It was all worth it.

12 Beautiful Military Family Births

fun fact:
Saturday, May 20th is Armed Forces Day.

So, today we will celebrate the sacrifices that our military families have made while building their own families. 

 

www.mamabearupstatebirth.com This daddy was deployed so this was his first time seeing baby via facetime.

www.mamabearupstatebirth.com
This daddy was deployed so this was his first time seeing baby via facetime.

capturedbybrezi.com This veteran holding his brand new baby.

capturedbybrezi.com
This veteran holding his brand new baby.

bonniehussey.com (Goes with above image of cell phone)

bonniehussey.com (Goes with above image of cell phone)

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com Navy Dad, we were worried he wouldn't make it home from sea in time :) But he was there. 

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com
Navy Dad, we were worried he wouldn't make it home from sea in time :) But he was there. 

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com She was updating friends and family while she was in labor. Baby's dad was stationed overseas at the time. She is also active duty.

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com

She was updating friends and family while she was in labor. Baby's dad was stationed overseas at the time. She is also active duty.

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com Dad deployed, this mama got one phone call from the ship the entirety of her labor. She was SO strong. 

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com
Dad deployed, this mama got one phone call from the ship the entirety of her labor. She was SO strong. 

bonniehussey.com  This Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer a few months after the birth of his daughter, and did not make it.

bonniehussey.com 
This Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer a few months after the birth of his daughter, and did not make it.

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com Dual military, beautiful birth!

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com
Dual military, beautiful birth!

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com This dad was deployed the majority of this pregnancy. He arrived just days in advance, proposed, and now they were having their baby 

www.birthbyfincherphotography.com
This dad was deployed the majority of this pregnancy. He arrived just days in advance, proposed, and now they were having their baby 

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com Dad is military, they are coming back this fall with baby #2!

www.jhmamarazziphotography.com
Dad is military, they are coming back this fall with baby #2!

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