Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Talk Placentas

Placentas are the heart of connection between a baby and mother during pregnancy, literally anchoring the baby to the mother's uterine wall. In an intricate dance, the placenta gathers blood from the mother, pulls oxygen and nutrients, transfers them to the baby's blood system via the cord, and then sends the waste from the baby's blood back out to be excreted by the mother's body. This whole waltz happens without the mother and baby's blood ever combining. The placenta also produces hormones that are essential for many changes in the mother's body during pregnancy as well as the fetus's growth. It is a pretty powerful and important organ and not just during pregnancy.

After a baby is born, there are several ways that the placenta can be honored and utilized:
  • In numerous cultures families plant the placenta under a tree. Some cultures burn or smoke the placenta first and plant the ashes, but other cultures plant the placenta directly in the ground. The tree's growth is a beautiful reminder and symbol of the child's growth.
  • Some women encapsulate (or otherwise prepare) the placenta for ingesting. It has been said that placentophagy helps a new mother's body recover more quickly and lessens the chances of baby blues following a birth. For more information visit Placenta For a recipe visit Placenta Remedy
  • A beautiful keepsake can be made by doing a placenta print. The placenta makes a tree-like shape when printed, and the print can be framed. The prints can be made before encapsulating or burying if you choose to do either (you would not want to use paint or ink for the print if you are going to encapsulate or otherwise ingest the placenta). Visit this webpage for more information on how to do the print. These websites both have a beautiful picture of a placenta print: &

I am also including two links to videos below. The first one is a step-by-step how to make a placenta print. The second one is a video of "the Placenta Lady" encapsulating a woman's placenta for her as her husband films and makes not-so-pleasant comments. Despite the commentary, the video is informative if you are interested. Both videos show placentas and blood, so if you do not want to see either, you might want to skip the videos.

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