The Placenta

If you birthed away from home, were you offered the placenta? 

Did you know you could request it?

Image source: http://www.mamaiscomic.com/category/classic-cowgoddess/page/10/

 
 
Have you thought about why you might want to keep it?

Many a freezer has a placenta or two in an icecream container awaiting an appropriate moment and place to be honoured.

The placenta is such an incredible organ, and for many people it is important to acknowledge the life giving force of this organ.  This is usually approached ceremonially, sometimes as part of a naming ceremony, with a burial of the placenta under a tree.  The placenta then feeds the tree, which grows with the child.  Each year you can take a photo of your child next to their placenta tree.  A word of caution though – Australian natives are overwhelmed by a full placenta.  

Before burial, placenta art, from prints to a small piece kept for a unique piece of jewellery, is also an option for honouring this amazing organ. 


Another important option is to ingest the placenta.

There are professional services to encapsulate placentas (a dehydrating process, that powders the placenta for easy consumption), and many websites with instructions for immediate raw consumption (smoothie, anyone?).

The placenta is a vital and rich organ.  According to Vickie, from Canberra Placenta Services:

 
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“In many cultures, the placenta is not simply discarded as medical waste. The placenta is recognised as a beautiful organ.
It is the only organ that develops and grows within another organ. It is responsible for growing a healthy baby. It is the bridge between a mother and her baby in the womb. In medieval times it was said  to nurture an unborn baby’s body and soul, in Indonesia it  is called  the  brother or sister, in Nepal it  is known as bucha-co-satthi, meaning  baby’s friend, it is honoured as truly unique and amazing.

There are many rituals surrounding the burial of the placenta. 
Some  women will eat a small piece of the placenta raw at the birth to avoid haemorrhage. 
The placenta is considered a powerful medicine. It is believed that ingesting placenta can contribute to :  
  • Decrease  in  baby blues and postnatal depression 
  • Increase  and enrich breast milk. 
  • Increase  in energy.
  • Decrease  in lochia, postnatal bleeding. 
  • Decrease  iron deficiency. 
  • Decrease  insomnia and/or sleep  disorders

More and more women today are no longer discarding their placentas but choosing to honour their strength and health.”

 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Could the lullaby Rock-a-bye-baby be about birth?  


The placenta as a cradle,
to be cradled by the placenta…

cradle /ˈkreɪd(ə)l/
verb
  1. hold gently and protectively

  2. “The baby was cradled by the placenta”

synonyms:hold, support, prop up, rest, pillow, bolster, cushion, shelter, protect

Find out about birthing the placenta

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