The time of pregnancy demands a lot from a woman. Of course, there are all physical issues – which is often a big sacrifice – but the level of psychological balance you must have during your pregnancy can often not be achieved by all women. It is not uncommon to hear about diseases such as postpartum depression , stress and even anxiety attacks caused by pressures in this very delicate moment that is pregnancy. And the woman’s body can be affected in several ways with this, including the aging of the placenta .
This is a worrying situation and exactly why we are going to talk more deeply about how it can arise and what to do when it happens. But before going into the subject itself, it is important to know exactly how a woman’s body works during pregnancy.
What is Placenta?
The placenta is perhaps the main organ that connects the mother to the fetus during pregnancy. It is created exclusively for this period and reaches its maturity around the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. The placenta has several functions, the main ones being gas exchange and baby feeding . In other words, it is possible to state that it is she who allows the baby to feed and breathe.
But in addition to these very important functions, it is also the placenta that protects the baby in cases of impact, since it has a gelatinous form that can absorb stronger strokes and leave the baby intact. It is also the function of the placenta to produce certain pregnancy hormones that will be very useful in preparing the mother’s body for childbirth.
This very important and special organ can have problems, such as placental detachment, placental insufficiency, placenta accreta, among others. There is treatment for all types of problems, but it is important that there is medical follow-up so that there are no serious consequences.
What Causes Placenta Aging?
Much has been asked about what causes placental aging, as this is one of the most common ways of premature delivery . Nowadays, it is known that the responsible for this is an element called oxidative stress , a type of biological imbalance that ends up causing the placenta to age more quickly. But the question remains: What causes oxidative stress?
The first thing you should know is that this imbalance can be caused by factors that are independent of you, such as pollution in the environment in which you live. But, on the other hand, there are factors that contribute a lot for it to occur in a woman and that can be controlled by her. Are they:
- Use of tobacco;
- Alcohol use;
- Bodily infections;
- Stress and anxiety crises;
- Bad nutritional habits
If, on the one hand, there are factors that contribute to the aging of the placenta that cannot be controlled by the mother, on the other the most decisive factors are habits that must be avoided entirely during pregnancy. And although it seems obvious to many people, it is always necessary to reinforce this type of information.
How Does Placenta Aging Affect Baby?
The aging of the placenta can affect the baby mainly because of the decrease in nutrients provided and oxygen, which is common in late pregnancy, since the placenta is preparing to be expelled. When this decrease occurs ahead of time, the baby may end up with more fragile health. It is worth remembering that this is also a factor that can cause premature birth to occur, which can also affect the baby, since its formation may not be 100% complete. The risk of extremely serious illnesses is small, but certain types of allergies , such as respiratory allergies , can end up accompanying the baby throughout his life.
Degrees of Placenta
The placenta has four degrees that are measured through its age, that is, the higher the degree of the placenta, the older it is. These measures are especially important for identifying problems with the placenta during pregnancy. We will talk more specifically about each one of them so that you understand how this division occurs.
Grade 0 – It is the grade that normally presents itself during the first three months of pregnancy, where she does not present any type of modification.
Grade 1 – The harder texture and mild calcification of the placenta indicates that it is beginning to age. The delivery of nutrients and oxygen is still not very affected at this stage.
Grade 2 – Occurs when the symptoms of the previous grade begin to intensify and the nutrients and oxygen supplied by the placenta are no longer abundant.
Grade 3 – It usually happens at the end of pregnancy, when the placenta is already very calcified and ready for labor. If this stage is reached before the end of the pregnancy, many problems can occur with the baby.
The aging of the placenta then occurs, when it reaches higher degrees before the expected time, causing problems such as premature birth and the lack of distribution of nutrients and oxygen to the baby.
The aging of the placenta is dangerous, but it can be prevented most of the time. Maintaining healthy habits and having a proper medical follow-up not only helps to prevent different types of illnesses, but also ensures that you have a healthy and trouble-free pregnancy. Dealing with anxiety and the various emotional issues imposed by pregnancy, which are often independent only of women, is something that must be learned over time.
In this sense, the collaboration of the people around you makes all the difference. Therefore, to avoid problems such as the aging of the placenta, it is necessary to have good habits, but also an understanding of your psychological state and the help of your partner and your family to go through this phase together with you.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.