Spanish English French German Portuguese Italian

We usually think of life in the watery womb experience as a blissful time. Held within a protected bubble, the fetus floats in it's own universe, growing and developing along the humanoid evolutionary pathway. We think of the womb as a haven, an impermeable, all-protecting nirvana that shields new life from the dangers existing in a more tumultuous and toxic outside world. At least for a time, it is believed that the developing child is perfectly safe.

The protective placenta is a truly amazing organ. It surrounds the fetus and attaches to the mother, controlling metabolic changes. By month three of pregnancy, a human placenta is two inches in diameter. The attached umbilical cord is about four inches long. It will eventually grow into a curly twenty-two-inch-long and a half-inch wide rope. The placenta will expand into a disc that is eight inches wide and an inch thick, that weighs slightly more than a pound. The placenta is expelled with the fetus during birth.