The piece was originally published by The Conversation
"Mothering" is synonymous with "nurturing," probably because moms start providing for their kids even before they're born.
A fetus relies on its mother to provide all the essentials. The placenta is key here; this organ develops in the uterus and is like a gateway that lets mom pass baby everything it needs to support its development.
After the mother eats, her body breaks the food down into glucose, amino acids, fatty acids and cholesterol that travel through channels or transporters in the placenta to the fetus. They provide the energy and the building blocks that the growing fetus uses as it develops organs, tissues and bones.
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