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The correct answer is a. hCG is a hormone secreted by the placenta in order to maintain the activity of the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is needed for the secretion of estrogen and progesterone, which bind to receptors in the anterior pituitary and stimulate the production of prolactin. Prolactin binds to the mammary gland and increases the production of milk and proteins. After the first trimester, the placenta stops secreting hCG (thus the symptoms of morning sickness go away) and it starts producing estrogen and progesterone responsible for the eventual production of prolactin. The placenta also constantly secretes CS, which also binds to the mammary gland and stimulates the production of milk and proteins.
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