The baby's side of the placenta is smooth in comparison to the mother's side of the placenta. This is also where the umbilical cord is attached. One of the things that your doctor or midwife will look for is that the umbilical cord is attached in the center of the placenta and not to one side or actually in the membranes.
Your practitioner will also look at the umbilical cord. One thing they will look for will be the number of vessels that the umbilical cord has. An umbilical cord should have two arteries and a vein, called a three vessel cord.
While some people never have any desire to see the placenta, it is becoming more popular to actually look at the placenta. It is a unique organ, the only disposable organ that is ever grown. The placenta is an amazing organ that helped house and nourish your baby during your pregnancy.
Photo © Robin Elise Weiss