You've seen the neat little drawings of the placenta -- your baby's life support system in utero -- but you'd...
You've seen the neat little drawings of the placenta -- your baby's life support system in utero -- but you'd be right to realize that those diagrams don't look all that much like the real thing. (Think about how a frozen dinner's cover packaging looks versus the end result straight out of your microwave.) First things first: It's bloody. It has to be, of course, because filtering blood is one of its primary functions. It's also veiny and lumpy and pretty much looks like something fell out that wasn't supposed to. (It's actually considered a temporary internal organ -- for a visual, imagine a deep red chicken liver times 20... and try not to throw up. Oh, we're just kidding. When it's yours, it's not as oogy as you'd think.) There are two distinct sides to the placenta: one that connects to the uterine wall, and the other that faces the baby. Have a look!
Placenta side 1 (uterine wall) placenta-side1.jpg
Placenta side 2 (baby's side -- parts of the amniotic sac still visible) placenta-side2.jpg
Sure, it's gross, but let's cut the placenta some slack. It was created out of the very same cells that made your baby, and was your little person's lifeline all this time. Job well done, wouldn't you say?

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