MICHAEL DONNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL DONNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Healthy placenta. Gloved hand holds up a healthy placenta in a plastic bag. The placenta is the organ which links the blood supplies of the mother and the foetus in the womb during pregnancy. It functions to provide the embryo with nourishment, to eliminate waste and exchange respiratory gases. The placenta is attached to the foetus by the umbilical cord. The placenta also secretes hormones which maintain pregnancy. The placenta is expelled soon after the birth of the baby and is known as the afterbirth.
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