The placenta is a large organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy and is connected to the fetus by the umbilical cord. Through the blood vessels in the umbilical cord and placenta, the fetus receives oxygen and nutrients from the mother and gets rid of wastes.
The placenta is delivered soon after the baby is born. (This is sometimes called the afterbirth.)
Medical Review:Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology