Proverbs 28 8-28-22

“The Organ that Defies Evolution” is what the placenta should be called.

31:2 “Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!”

Today, we continue our look at the “Placenta, A Selfless Servant,” from “A Pocket Guide to the Human Body,” pages 93-94. The giant syncytial trophoblast cell (the large collection of nuclei surrounding the fetus) has successfully integrated with the mother’s blood system. What else is going on?

In order to appreciate the marvelous work of the placenta, consider this: while the unborn baby’s vital organs are developing and maturing, they (with the exception of the heart) are essentially useless. The placenta serves the function of these organs by working in association with the mother. With the help of the mother’s blood, the placenta must function as the baby’s lungs, kidneys, digestive system, liver, and immune system. The placenta does this so well that a baby can actually survive until birth even when one or more of these vital organs sadly fails to develop in its own body.

During the latter part of pregnancy, the flow of maternal blood through the placenta reaches a rate of about one pint per minute. To allow an adequate surface area for exchange between mother’s blood and baby’s blood, the interface between the two is folded and amplified in a complex way that resembles the trunks, branches, and twigs of trees (see figure 4).

There are typically about 20 of these tree-like structures (called cotyledons) in the mature placenta. The baby’s blood flows in vessels inside these cotyledons, whereas the mother’s blood flows all around the outside, like air blowing through a small grove of trees. The entire surface of all the tree-like cotyledons is covered by syncytial trophoblast [placenta cells], forming a seamless covering, which comprises a single cell with millions of nuclei. This means that the entire surface of the placenta is covered by one giant cell, which has a surface area of over 100 square feet.

Tomorrow wraps up our little study with the miraculous birth of the baby and the survival of the mother. I trust you will tune in for this exciting finish to our adventure through the human body.

Abba, looking at just the introductory information concerning birth prompts me to praise You and thank You for giving us life. I know You give us new life in Christ, as well, and have promised us continuing life with You in Your kingdom. We are GRATEFUL, Abba! Amen.

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