The Scientific American is getting into the latest research on our amazing and beloved placentas!
In a recent article, Fetal Armor: How the Placenta Shapes Brain Development, they highlight the fact that the placenta has been vastly under-appreciated and is much more than just a source of nourishment, but also protects the baby and shapes brain development.
They point to recent research showing that in times of food deprivation, the placenta will break down its own tissues and provide nourishment to the fetus during times of critical brain development! (read more)
They also highlight the research that shows placentas are actually creating seratonin for the baby during the development of the forebrain. This is a huge switch from conventional thought, which was that the baby got the required seratonin from the mother. (read more)
“Research into the placenta’s influence on the developing brain is so new it has yet to be named. Anna Penn, a developmental neurobiologist and neonatologist at Stanford University, has dubbed it neuroplacentology.
The old thinking about the placenta is changing, Penn says, but there is still much to learn.”
I could not have said it better myself, Ms. Penn.
The word is getting out, folks! Placentas are so much more than what we’ve thought.
Mothers, when you give birth to your baby’s placenta, look at it. Touch it. Appreciate it. No, it’s not as cute as your baby, but this amazing organ has helped bring your baby into this world, protected them and nourished them, and they deserve to have their role in this miraculous process we call LIFE be acknowledged.
As we (mothers) change our view of the placenta, we can begin to change policies regarding the handling of placentas in hospitals. We must help change the archaic view of the placenta from “medical waste” and “blood filled sac” (actual terms used by hospital staff citing grounds on which to refuse their release), to something more befitting their actual description.
Life. Love. Placentas.