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Stem cells[edit]

I'm surprised there's no mention of placental stem cells in the article. The placenta is a good source of them (along with umbilical cord blood). source: I think it bears mentioning. Medical labs often get stem cells this way for research without much controversey (as there is no harm to mother or child and the placenta in most cases in the western world would be incinerated) perhaps a link to the cord blood article would be a good idea too —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

This can't be true[edit]

The line "In fact, the placenta of the pharaoh was placed on a pole and carried into battle. This is history's first flag. ", can't be true.-- (talk) 00:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


At the top of the article, it says that marsupials are placental. At the bottom it says they aren't. Please clear up the contradiction. I might research it myself. --ChadThomson 07:37, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Marsupials aren't placental, by definition. That's why non-marsupial non-monotreme mammals are called placental. Nik42 05:22, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
btw, I'm not an idiot, look at the history of this article. As of 22 August 2005, it said that marsupials are placental. --ChadThomson 13:05, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure they do in fact have placentas. They reabsorb the placenta though, so you don't see it. Check out the placentophagy article, which says: "Marsupials, which are an order of metatherian (pouched) mammals, resorb rather than deliver the placenta, and therefore cannot engage in placentophagia" AlbertCahalan 01:48, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Correct. Marsupials have a rudimentary egg-yolk placenta which degenerates quite early in foetal development. Thus, although they have a placenta early on, it does not persist to term. For this reason they are classified as placentals even though there is no placenta at term.

chorion and ???[edit]

The article says the chorion is the part of the placenta that is genetically part of the fetus, but it doesn't give the name of the other part, the part that is genetically part of the mother. Adding that, I think, would be an improvement. -- Finlay McWalter 01:17, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Chorion redirects to amniotic sac. Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology defines chorion as the highly vascular outermost embryonic membrane of higher vertebrates. In placental animals it has a villous part that enters the placenta. + plus another meaning, chorion in animal eggs. This image at Commons Image:Placenta fetus.jpg points at chorion, but it is not the fetal side. Googling, I also have problems finding support for the terminology that chorion equals the fetal part of the placenta. I remove that notion for now. / Habj 16:17, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


I've heard from time to time things about what's done with the placenta in various cultures after it is expelled. Could someone who knows about this add some info? Thanks. Deco 03:04, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Some people get rather silly with it. They bury it under a seedling tree or use it to make a placenta print (art, using blood as ink or with regular ink). More practical and very unsqueamish people just cook it up. The Wikibooks Cookbook has placenta recipes. AlbertCahalan 22:16, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I know of people in Indian villages placing the placenta of cows in a box made with palm leaves and hanging them from the branches of banyan trees to protect them from dogs, which they fear might harm the cow or its calf if they get the smell of the placenta. -- Sundar (talk · contribs) 04:34, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
In one of the Chinese comic book series I've read, they kept making references to businessmen purchasing placentas off mothers so they could make cosmetics with it. Robin Chen 05:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

another culture[edit]

in our culture, as luslim in malaysia we wash clean the placenta and then buried it. what we believed as because it is also part of our baby's life

Abruption of placenta[edit]

  • Reason for the abruption?
  • Risk rate?
  • Prevention?
  • Measures taken after abruption?
  • Period of measures?
  • Risk to baby and mother?

This is very rare. In the unlikely event that it happens, you have serious problems. Why it happens:

  • 40% of cases linked to high blood pressure or preeclampsia
  • physical trauma (car accident, severe beating, fall from ladder)
  • smoking
  • pitocin-induced labor
  • twin has been born, and maybe nursing
  • entanglement of the cord

Prevention: Don't be a smoker with high blood pressure who gets in a car crash. Don't induce labor.

If it happens and the baby isn't about to be delivered, treat for shock and get to a hospital. Probably you'll get a cesarean.

Risk of the abruption is that the mother bleeds to death and the baby goes without oxygen. Probably the baby can bleed to death too. Risk of the measures (cesarean) is of course the normal: infection or bleeding, resulting in loss of the uterus or death.

Do remember that all this is highly unlikely.

AlbertCahalan 05:52, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC) ela13 tinydukes gang

It's not that rare. [[1]] quotes a risk of 1 in 200, with a foetal death rate of 20% The incidence in pre-eclampsia is 4%. Incidence in induced labour is nowhere near 4%, except when in the pre-eclamptic mother (which may well be a reason for induction) bignoter 14:21, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

placenta consumption[edit]

Moved from the article:

Some gynecologists in England claim that they have witnessed the practice of placenta consumption amongst humans in hospital wards in the 1990's (Lieberman, Dr. Telephone interview. University of London undergraduate assignment. 1999. London England). while I appreciate that this is kind of sort of sourced, I question its appropriateness. An undergrad telephone interview somewhere in London with a "Dr. Lieberman" isn't much to go by. How about significant reports in the media, peer-reviewed journals, or even links to a couple of blogs? Extraordinary statements such as this require a greater degree of sourcing. Also: even if placental consumption did occur in London hospitals in the 1990s, what are we talking about here? An actual cultural thing, or just the actions of a few insane people? A few people are know to have eaten books, but our article on books doesn't bother to report this. 04:42, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

In the 1970s there was a brief placenta eating fad. Some recepies were also published. The idea came from observing animals eating the placenta and it was thought that eating the placenta would replenish various nutrients (mostly iron) lost when giving birth. One recpie for placenta stew is

  • 3/4 placenta
  • 1 potato
  • 4 table spoons fresh parsley
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cellery
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion

Chop up the Ingredients. Roll the placenta in a mix of one table spoon of flour, on teaspon salt, a half teaspoon powered paprika, some ground clove, some ground pepper and 6-8 coriander seeds. Saute the placenta in two tablespoons oil, pour in the vegitables and about a litre of water. Allow to boil and then let simmer for an hour. Enjoy! // Liftarn

Cooking recipes for cannibalism among deranged women's libbers hardly belong here, I think.

Some people still eat their placentas[edit]

It is worth noting (and probably including in the article) that many people even now still consume their placentas. This practice is a new age fad linked with the church of scientology amongst other things. Tom Cruise claimed he was going to eat his wife's placenta, but after much disgust/outrage he claimed that this was a joke.

The supposed scientific basis for a human mother eating the placenta is that it replaces beneficial hormones which are lost with the placenta at the moment of birth... but this seems to be very shaky science.

Hey, I just found placentophagy. // Liftarn
On may 18 2006 Dutch shockjock Giel Beelen is going to eat a placenta live on radio. The placenta will be made into several dishes by cook Pierre Wind. Though they've been talking about this for years, Tom Cruise's statement about eating the placenta (and final reluctance to do so) accelerated their plans.
Cannibalism, i.e. the devouring of human body parts by other humans, is not accepted in Western societies at all, and neither religious nutters nor esoterically confused women's libbers will change this legal fact. Anthropophagy as the ultima ratio in cases of famine and survival (for example the famine at Stalingrad, the sinking of the Essex, airplane crashes in hostile environments) are just barely accepted by society. The present ritual cannibalism performed among the descendants of freed slaves in Sierra Leone and Liberia is not part of Western cultures.

Eating your placenta is not canibalism. Most animals who produce them eat them, including western women. In fact one of mine stayed in the freezer until I was sure I did not have 'the blues' in which case I might indeed have devoured it. This site is supposed to deal with 'facts' not perceived bull. I note it isn't even mentioned that big pharma uses them for women to smear on their faces. Rather like the MSM, report what we want you to think not what is. (talk) 15:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Not that I am likely to compete with anyone for a plate of placenta, raw or cooked, even though I happen to have no argument in principle against cannibalism in any case, but I just point out in context that the fact that animals do it does not mean that it is not cannibalism, like nailbiting. JonRichfield (talk) 20:12, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Human placenta and the placenta of human mammals[edit]

Hello, I'm collecting information to write two articles on the placenta. One will be about the placenta of placental mammals. The other will be specific to the human placenta. I'm going to organize all medical/obstetric placenta Wikipedia entries.--FloNight 16:52, 11 November 2005 (UTC)


The maternal side is pictured but not named.  I was going to add a disambiguation at cotyledon "for materal side of placenta, see" that points here, but there's nothing here.

Rudimentary placenta in marsupials[edit]

Barbara Shack 14:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)I wrote this, "This rudimentary placenta could suggest that marsupials evolved out of placental mammals" It needs peer review as I am not an expert. Also contradictions as to marsupials having a rudimentary placenta need to be sorted out.

From my understanding of evolutionary biology of mammals, marsupials and placental mammals arose independently and did not evolve into one another. In fact, the Wikipedia article on Marsupials clearly states that that is the current line of thinking. Therefore, I would suggest this sentence be removed as it is incorrect. If there is a respectable source for that statement, then we should present the other side. OrangeMarlin 19:25, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
While reformatting the surrounding text, I reviewed this assertion, which despite its quote-like italicization, is not in either cited source, nor found by Google anywhere but in this article and talk page. I believe the editor who wrote it misread the cited references. Columbia discusses at some length how marsupials evolved placental parallels, not direct connections, in the absence of the competing placental mammals that appear to have displaced marsupials in other parts of the world. One might attempt to connect the "rudimentary placenta" statement to the separate parallel-evolution concept, but that would be original research. I've rephrased the text to more accurately follow the source info. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:30, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Animal and human placental are structurally quite different. People who are interested in placenta should look for details of placenta in Berneske "Pathology of Human Placenta" and Comparative Placenta Biology (Biology and Reproduction website). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 15 September 2009 (UTC)


In the Sharks article it says some sharks also develop placentas. Does someone have information about this and could add it. I think it is a very interesting issue. 00:09, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Minor Change[edit]

Deleted the junk about natural cosmetics at the top. Don't think anyone'll mind terribly much. Trebs 00:20, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Chemicals and the placenta[edit]

The article says that some harmful chemicals are blocked by the placenta, but which chemicals does it block? Does it also block some harmless chemicals? --Kjoonlee 12:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Along a similar vein, I am also looking for a comprehensive list of blood components that are blocked by / permitted through the placental barrier. --Microbiojen 16:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Species Variation section[edit]

The species variation list is indecipherable to me, particularly due to the vocabulary: "cotyledonary", "caruncle", "placentome", "zonary", etc. Someone should at least wikify it, and preferably rewrite it in plainer English (or provide a "translation" anyway). --ScottAlanHill 05:49, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The most disgusting article I've ever seen[edit]

Euggh... I'm sorry I was curious. AllStarZ 04:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Now you are stronger. 09:20, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Placenta has a different meaning in botany[edit]

Bayle Shanks 22:21, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Pick one[edit]

"The placenta is an ephemeral (temporary) organ present in female placental vertebrates..." Don't use the word ephemeral and then substitute a different word in parentheses. If you want to use ephemeral, just use it. If you don't think people will understand what it means, don't use it or use it and provide only the link.

Are we certain that it tastes nice on bread? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Um...... I'm not a doctor....[edit]

..... but I'm reasonably sure the statement "mammals do not produce a placenta" is incorrect..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

If you are referring to the first paragraph, you have to read the whole sentence to make it understandable. Jesper Dahlberg (talk) 18:12, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Placenta Hair Products[edit]

I use cow placenta in my hair (I know, it's gross, shut up). They sell it at lots of different beauty stores. It's a creme. I don't know if it should be put into this atricle somewhere but it is fairly common. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Floronic (talkcontribs) 20:52, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Re. placentophagy being subject to legal prosecution[edit]

I removed this line, as it had no reference and is contradicted by a 2007 U.S. court case [2] [3] -Rhrad (talk) 23:28, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

uses of placental extract.[edit]

I think we could have a article devoted to uses of Placenta..? That way, this article could be devoted to its primary purpose, etc. here is one use I haven't heard of: injecting children for immune system benefits. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:59, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Can this be clarified and better integrated?[edit]

I think the following section needs to be better integrated into other sections if reinserted - there are many that already deal with medicine. Mikael Häggström (talk) 05:09, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Use in medicine[edit]

Human placenta is increasingly being used in western medicine with even a branch called "placenta pharmacology" being updated regularly.[1]

Invitation to edit[edit]

It has been proposed that Placenta be part of the trial of a new template; see the green strip at the top of Pain where it has been in place for a couple of months. The purpose of this project is to encourage readers to edit, while equipping them with the basic tools. If you perceive a problem with this, or have any suggestions for improvement, please discuss at the project talk page. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:04, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Reptile placenta[edit]

The information about the analogous reptile structures in the lead appears a bit superfluous—perhaps a single mention, but the details are better left for later in the article. Der Elbenkoenig (talk) 17:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Cultural practices and beliefs[edit]

There are several uncited items in this section. I don't like being nasty about paucity of citation, but given the tendency of idiots to vandalise this article, I think that we should be very snotty about permitting items on just anyone's say-so. I don't often visit here, but if I do pass this way again and no one beats me to it, I might well undertake a blitz. Do please add citations or clean up, whoever is in a position to do so. JonRichfield (talk) 12:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Introduction - no source.[edit]

"Note, however, that the homology of such structures in various viviparous organisms is debatable at best and, in invertebrates such as Arthropoda, is definitely analogous at best."

Not sourced. Sounds like an apologetic for Darwinism. (talk) 00:45, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


the Cotyledon link is wrong it should be to the Cotyledon (placenta) page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Apowers88 (talkcontribs) 21:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)


I think a section discussing the evolution of the placenta would be beneficial to this article. It could even probably be separated into the evolution of placentae in mammals, live-bearing fish and in squamates (lizards and reptiles) if enough sources can be found. Hill.1770 (talk) 20:16, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Animal Parallels and/or types of placentae?[edit]

Another way to improve this article, especially if the evolution of different animal placentae is too specific, would be to include a section that goes into some amount of detail to describe placentae in animals besides just humans/mammals, such as placentae in squamates and fish. It could also reference the term placenta as it applies to plants.

Along with this, it might be a good idea to link Placentation to the "See Also" section. Hill.1770 (talk) 20:59, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^