Does anybody know? I've just realised I have no idea. I kind of assumed it would be a bit like the inside of your cheeks, but during pregnancy the uterus has the capability to expand to something like 1000x its volume and then more or less return to its original size. Most other skin-like structures on the body would give up and go extremely saggy after much less stretching than this - just look at tv programmes about weight loss. It must be amazing stuff to be able to cope with such drastic size changes.
Quite agree - my MW descibed the vagina as 'like the coastline of Norway' so has the ability to stretch out considerably. In fact she says to repeat the mantra 'I am Norway' in birth to visualise everything opening out but my text books dont actually show it as full of folds so must just be super stretchy. Lets hope it does all go back into shape afterwards eh!
It's got muscle on the outside and squishy spongy tissue on the inside. So sort of a two layer affair. The muscle is the tough bit that keeps everything secure (and contracts when you're in labour to push baby out). The spongy bit is the part that attatches to the placenta and sheers off when it delivers, and then the spongy bit is what breaks down to make the discharge (lochia) you get after birth.
Oh I didn't know it had layers. That makes it even more exciting!
So I guess the main structure is a very stretchy elastic muscly bag, and the inner layer builds up and sheds itself as required? So would a period just be a very thin layer of the lining bit? And lochia, with the spongy bits that look a bit like overcooked beetroot, is a much thicker layer?
ninedragons what on earth would the midwife think you wanted the placenta for? Do you look like a lentil weaving earth mother type that perhaps might want to cook and eat it?!!
Re the placenta- I had a mummy friend from the Ukraine- and she insisted on taking the placenta home- not to eat it, but to bury it under a tree- apparently it's a Ukranian custom, pick a tree you like, and then it becomes "their" tree, as the tree takes up the placental nutrients. As the child grows they are taken to visit their tree every year....
We bought a tree and planted it when I was pregnant with dd and wanted the placenta to plant under it (planned home waterbirth). Ended up with an emcs though and it was sent off to be incinerated in the chaos.