I was honored to be at a baby’s birth last week. These are the perks of being a doula and a birth photographer: I get invited to witness the magic of life entering the world through a woman’s womb. It never gets old and every single time, I leave the birth with more hope for our weeping planet and an expanded heart.
Part of creating a new life consist in providing it from the very first few days (from day five to be precise) of conception with a magical organ that we otherwise do not have: the placenta.
The placenta is the baby’s cocoon. It grows with baby while protecting and sustaining her/him. It is so unbelievably well designed that if mom suffers malnutrition, among other examples, it provides the baby with whatever the mom deficits. This is due to the fact that placentas are genetically identical to the baby who comes from the union and genetic combination of her/his parents, so unless baby has a mono-zygotic (aka identical) twin, there is nothing in the world like her/him besides the placenta.
In the last decade, the art and use of consuming the placenta after birth has become more and more popular in Los Angeles and in other western countries; but it is a tradition that goes back to the origins of time. Some cultures respect the placenta as a living organ that has not only a medicinal healing power but also a spiritual attribute.
Some wonder if at the origin of our existence our spirit perhaps lived in the placenta and if so, as Robin Lym questions ‘are we, each of us, a piece of peace?’
If when the western medical practices started to toss the placenta after birth as forgotten and useless garbage, and we stopped honoring the very same habitat that hosted us for nine months, is that why we feel we are missing a limb?
Is it because we lost our connection with the divine?
I love to invite my clients to consider the importance of respecting and honoring the placenta and ultimately to preserve it ( and consume it). Some find there is not scientific reasons that provide enough prof that one should pay so much attention to our babies’ placentas, but to me science has very little to do with it or at least as little as considering birth a medical event that requires interventions on the mother, instead of supporting her in giving birth to her baby.
Also, I encourage my clients to get familiar to the picture of giving birth by watching videos of mammals giving birth and of you pay attention each and every single one of them eats their placenta right after birthing their baby. All do, except us.
Placentas can be consumed raw, blended with fruit, steamed, made into a stew, tincture and encapsulated. Some prefer to paint it and make prints, others plant it or burrow it and carry its earth.
Whatever you do, I hope you’ll take a minute to honor and be thankful for the service the placenta has provided to your baby for nine months. I think this is a closer step to protect children and their moms at birth and the only way we can initiate a better world and potentially heal it.
If you would like to hear more about placenta encapsulation please contact me here.