If you are pregnant, then your estrogen level, which is a hormone, will rise throughout your pregnancy. In your body you have a gang of hormones and estrogen is the leader. Estrogen regulates your progesterone level which protects your pregnancy. And Estrogen is the leader of the band when it comes fetal maturation, it orchestrates the process, without estrogen, your baby's lungs, liver and other vital organs and tissue would not be able to mature.

This hormone also plays a vital role in the development of the placenta and fetal adrenal glands that help to nourish your baby as well as aiding in the development of the baby.

The Chorion and Placenta

The chorion is the outer membrane that encloses the fetus. It contributes to the formation of the placenta. The placenta is a temporary organ that forms with the uterus to allow the exchange of nutrients, oxygen, and waste products between the mother and child without allowing maternal blood and fetal blood to mix. The placenta also produces hormones necessary to maintain the pregnancy. At delivery the placenta is expelled as the afterbirth.


The amnion which is also known as the amniotic sac is the innermost of the membranes that surround the embryo in the uterus and forms the amniotic cavity. The amniotic fluid is the liquid in which the fetus floats and is protected. The umbilical cord is the structure that connects the fetus to the placenta. After birth the navel or the belly button, is formed where the umbilical cord was attached to the fetus.


Parturition, also known as labor and childbirth, means to give birth to an offspring. The term antepartum means before the onset of labor with reference to the mother. Labor and delivery will occur in three stages. The first stage begins with contractions of the uterus and gradual dilation or when your cervix gets bigger. During this stage effacement or when your cervix starts to thin during labor.

The second stage is the delivery of your baby. The amniotic sac, also known as the bag of waters, breaks. Then the uterine contractions become stronger and more frequent until your baby is born. Presentation is the term used to describe the portion of the fetus that can be touched by the examining finger during labor.

Normally the baby's head comes first, and the stage at which the head can be seen at the vaginal orifice is called crowning. The third stage is the expulsion of the placenta as the afterbirth. The term delivery means the expulsion of the infant and afterbirth. Your newborn baby will be referred to as a neonate for the first month after you give birth.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions