Sunday, November 29, 2009

Placenta Power

*Foreword: If you get all squeamish at the sight of a placenta, don't bother reading any further. However, if you're like me and find them intriguing and beautiful (or if you just have a healthy curiosity to see one), then by all means, happily read (view) on!*

Placenta's to me are one of the most amazing parts of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. I kept both of my children's placenta's. Our daughter's was kept for quite a long time, in our freezer, just waiting for the right time to be planted, which turned out to be after the birth of our son two years later. We planted both placenta's on the same day at my mother's house, which was extremely special. I love that we did it this way.

There was something truly special, and almost magical about my mother and I planting my children's placenta's together. I had no idea it would be as emotional of an event as it was for me. I actually was choking back tears almost the entire time. From the time we lay the placenta's on the rocks, ready to be covered with earth, to the time the planting was complete, and I felt the strong sense of closure. My son's placenta planting I have to say was the more emotional, because the birth was so much closer in time. I still felt that gnawing sense of "apartness" you feel from your baby just after giving birth. So planting his placenta was in a way, heart-wrenching to me. But afterward, I felt free. It was something I don't think I had really felt before.

Here, the fetal side of Levi's placenta...

I am so glad that I took photos of my children's placenta's before they were planted. They amaze me everytime I look at them. The fact that the placenta is both 50% your own cells, and 50% your babies cells, makes it' something extrememly special, to me like a shooting star or snowflake. Something so unique and beautiful and awe-inspiring. It's both of you, together forever. No wonder there is such a strong mother/child bond. Also, the simple anatomy of it, the super-highway of life that sprawls out like a blanket over it's walls. Just beautiful.

One the left, Dakota's Plum tree. On the right, Levi's Camphor tree.

I love the idea of planting your child's placenta, and it has been a tradition among many cultures for many years (Navajo, Cambodia, Hawaii, New Zealand Maori). But I also love the idea of consuming the placenta. To me it's the logical and natural thing to do. And again, to many cultures for many years, it has been the logical and natural thing to do.

But our culture is just beginning to understand the awesome powers of the placenta. Placenta encapsulating is becoming increasingly popular. Placenta consumption has been known to help ward off the onset of postpartum depression, as well as facilitate milk production.

The next baby we have, we plan on cutting the placenta in half; planting one half under a tree, and dehydrating, grinding, and encapsulating the other half.


Hobo Mama said...

I didn't know it was half and half your genetic material and your baby's! That is so cool. Thanks for teaching me something today.

I wish I had done more with our placenta. I thought it was fascinating, and I was supposed to get it to take home with me but never did. I think the idea of encapsulating part and planting part sounds just right.

Corin said...

You know, I changed the wording in the post to half and half "cells", because after I reread it on, I wondered if because the placenta is half maternal cells and half fetal cells, what that actually means about it's genetic make-up?

I was always under the impression that it was the genetic material of the fetus, but I guess if it's attached to the maternal wall, it would have to contain those cells.

Pamela said...

I'm so glad you are posting on her again. I love reading all your facinating posts. I learn so much from you and this blog you have. I hope I do something rememberable with our next one.

Thanks for sharing Corin.

mommymichael said...

we're encapsulating ours this time!!

I wish i'd held on to ours a little longer. there's no tree that they're planted under.
they tore down the house roan was born in, and where his placenta was buried.
i know in some sense it's silly to be sad for the placenta... but at the same time it always did feel "magical" to me.

Lucy Pevensie said...

Very interesting... both the placentas of my children would NOT come out easily. I asked the dr. about this and he said that was usual. Nice to know it was so well planted in there. :)

Also, while they would NOT come out I was bleeding - I guess that's
usual too. :(
God bless!

Lct4j said...

What a beautiful ritual. Perhaps the placenta is the ultimate symbol of the nurturing bond that a mother and her baby share, besides it being such a practically potent tool of nourishment and life-giving support. I wish I hadn't been so squeamish with my babies and had actually looked at my placentas and really marveled at them like you have. Your post was beautiful. I have a new found appreciation for placentas now! I appreciate your sensitivity and the emotions that you feel about these tender, motherly rituals. God bless you.

Roxanna said...

I am so glad I found your blog you have one of the most beautiful banner's I have ever seen. I have been trying to get a really good BFing pic of our 13 month old but he doesn't like camera's in his face when he is eating LOL

Mary said...

We Lakota's bury our wakaneja's placenta's as well. We have all kinds of awesome birth ceremonies/rituals. I'll post of them soon. So busy right now.
xoxxo MBB

Tamara said...

I haven't read this blog for awhile! I have BEEN MISSING OUT!! Thank you for posting this! You know how I feel ;)!!

Tamara said...

Oh shoot! I also wanted to say that I LLLOOOOVVE the placenta pics! DO you mind if I blog about you and this post in our Fruit of the Womb Blog?