Birthowl’s natural childbirth

Appreciating The Placenta
October 17, 2008, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
The placenta is 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 some cultures, it is called the called bucha-co-satthi, meaning baby’s friend.(1) Others see the placenta as the baby’s protective older sibling.(2) For these reasons alone, it is unique, amazing and beautiful.

The baby and the placenta are made from the same cells, which are formed through combination of the egg and the sperm. Once implantation occurs on about day six after fertilization, the gestation period begins and the fertilized egg and the placenta begin to develop separately, still connected. The placenta stays attached to the uterine wall while the fetus has the ability to move around the uterus.

The placenta is the fetus’s only source of food, blood, oxygen, vitamins and nutrients. All of these vital resources are carried from placenta to fetus via the cord. These resources come from the mother’s bloodstream, which is why a healthy nutritious balance of whole foods is so important during pregnancy. Iron is especially important because iron increases the hemoglobin level in the blood; hemoglobin carries oxygen in the body. Once the baby is born and the cord stops pulsing, that baby is no longer getting its oxygen from the placenta. When baby takes a first breath, the lungs begin to work and baby begins breathing on his or her own. In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the cord must stop pulsing before being cut.

The placenta is an incredibly important and spiritual piece of life. It has many uses, both spiritual and medicinal. It can provide whatever is needed and should not be wasted. We are responsible for treating the placenta with respect for everything that it has done.

Kelly Graff is a student at Birthwise Midwifery School.

Photo by Mayouska


2 Comments so far
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Hi, Great article. I am a midwife and also worship the placenta! I am always wanting to show the mothers and fathers the wonders of the placenta. I think, looking through, and admiring the placenta is part of the whole birth journey. My placenta from my second son is just about to be buried in my backyard under a lavender bush.
Well done.

Comment by Loretta Anderson

Is that a placenta cake?
The hospital forbid me take my placenta home, but I do have an arty photo of it though. (not as arty as this one though!)

Comment by GlitaGrrl

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