- The placenta + the fetal membranes that are normally expelled from the uterus after the birth of the baby. Hence, the "afterbirth." The placenta is of course the organ that joins the mother and fetus and permits the provision of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and the release of carbon dioxide and waste products from the fetus to the mother. As humanity only disposable organ, the placenta is disk-shaped and at full term measures about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter and a bit less than 2 inches (4 cm) thick. The fetal membranesthe chorion is the outer one and the amnion is the inner oneenvelop the embryo and contain the amniotic fluid. The word "afterbirth" entered the English language in the 16th century. The term has also been applied to a child born after the fathers death or last testament.
* * *The placenta and membranes that are extruded from the uterus after birth. SYN: secundina, secundines.
* * *af·ter·birth 'af-tər-.bərth n the placenta and fetal membranes that are expelled after delivery called also secundines
* * *n.the placenta, umbilical cord, and ruptured membranes associated with the fetus, which normally become detached from the uterus and expelled within a few hours of birth.
* * *af·ter·birth (afґtər-bərth) the placenta and membranes, delivered from the uterus after the birth of the child. Called also secundina, secundinae, and secundines.
Medical dictionary. 2011.