The evolution of the human placenta

02 December 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 12

This book has been dedicated to the obstetricians-gynaecologists who have collaborated with the authors over many years to improve scientific knowledge of women's health in pregnancy with specific relation to the establishment and maintenance of the placenta.

The book has been separated in to eight chapters of substantial length and includes both an introduction and conclusion. The introduction is long and does not always read as an introduction but does lead you to the first chapter, which begins with the history of placental investigations. This feels appropriate to the reader when considering the title of the book. The authors draw on the historical significance of the placenta throughout Ancient Greece, the Renaissance up until the modern day and include the theories of Aristotle, Darwin and more recent modern anatomists. This is of interest to midwives and includes a passage on the techniques of expelling placentas after birth in ancient Greece. However, although this aspect is from the human perspective, it is only a small proportion of the chapter and the authors write substantially about other animals and types of placenta also.

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