Placenta - Definition

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The placenta is a mass of spongy and richly veined (containing many blood vessels) tissue that progressively develops during pregnancy in order to link the fetus to the uterus. The placenta thus serves as an area of exchange between the mother and her baby. The umbilical cord, which supplies the baby with oxygen and nutrients, grows out of the placenta. The placenta is ejected from the body at the end of childbirth at what we call delivery.