Last week, Alan E. Guttmacher, the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), announced the “Placenta Project” via the Huffington Post.
The placenta sustains us at the earliest phase of our development and shapes the adults we’ll eventually become,” notes Guttmacher. “And yet it’s the least understood, and least studied, of all human organs.”
As you may know from Ander’s Birth Story, my placenta started abrupting (detaching from the uterus) at 19 weeks with no explanation. Five weeks later, it could no longer support him in utero, and he was born via emergency c-section. The doctor said my placenta was “a shredded mess,” but pathology reports found nothing wrong with it.
Clearly, however, something WAS wrong, though more tests then and since have not revealed what caused my placenta to fail so spectacularly. So while this study is too late to save my son, it’s possible that in my life time, I’ll have answers as to why this happened. Someday, maybe, doctors will be able to prevent this type of placenta-based loss from happening to other mothers.
I am so excited, and so happy, that this study is being done. It just reminds me that there are people out there who know how important it is to help mothers keep their babies safe in the womb. We are worthy of their science! The placenta is finally getting the respect it deserves!