When we arrived at our Obs/Gynae appointment for my 12 week 4 day scan, she asked how I was doing, and I responded with, “Good!” I had been blessed with no morning sickness, and I was extremely grateful, especially given my terrible hormone-related problems as a teen and young adult. “More energy now?” the doc responded. It hadn’t yet crossed my mind, but she was right – those exhausting moments when I could no longer keep my eyes open in the middle of the day were now a distant memory – a pleasant realisation.

They say the second trimester brings with it the glow of pregnancy. Now, while I definitely did not feel like a radiating angel at the turn of the trimester, all the irritating symptoms of pregnancy were beginning to subside. How amazing it was to appreciate how my body had anticipated the future needs of my baby and prepared those very early on in my pregnancy, long before my precious bundle needed it! No wonder a newly pregnant mommy is so fatigued – her body is making some serious hormonal, physical and functional changes, all in preparation for the miracle of a new little life in this world.

So it is around about this time that a mom-to-be is very thankful for the development of a whole new organ, called the placenta. As this special interface between you are your baby develops, it takes a considerable toll on your body’s energy levels. The placenta now takes charge for the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, antibodies, hormones and waste products, leaving mom with a lot more vigour.

Unique to growing a tiny human, this remarkable organ has two important sides. The one side is the maternal side and is not very attractive. It is flabby and attached to the wall of the uterus. The other side is much more beautiful and is known as the foetal side. It has veins that run through it quite visibly which looks like the tree of life – how symbolic! The placenta comes in all shapes and sizes, but often resembles the shape of a heart – just another emblem to remind you of the amazing love already shared between you and your baby!

Author: Kerry Belgrove

Kerry Belgrove is a qualified Speech-Language Therapist who graduated top of her class at the University of Stellenbosch, receiving special recognition awards for best student in academic, clinical and research work. She has gained clinical experience in a number of different health, education and private settings, but it is with the establishment of her own private practice that her passion for serving the paediatric population truly flourished. As a health professional, wife, and mom-to-be, Kerry is inspired to offer her expertise in helping parents through all walks of life.

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