Let’s dive deep into the wonders of the Placenta!
Even though the Placenta is the main organ that provide nutrition to our baby for the course of our pregnancy, it is often considered irrelevant and discarded soon after birth. Since is still pretty behind when it comes to the research on Placenta consumption and its benefits. Yet most of the cultures other than western, have embraced the sacredness and the wonders of the Placenta for centuries.
What is the Placenta and what is its main function?
The Placenta is the only organ women create during pregnancy and that is used only during pregnancy to sustain and grow our bab(ies). There is one side that lies against the mother’s womb-the mother side- and another that faces the baby-the baby’s side- and it serves almost like a pillow during pregnancy.
The mother side has a clumpy texture that could remind the picture of the brain, while the baby side is smooth and even. This is the side where the umbilical cord innervates and then connects to baby via the belly button.
Through the umbilical cord, the Placenta sends nutrition and oxygen to baby for the whole duration of the pregnancy and up to 10 minutes after birth. Which means that it is extremely important that the cord is not clamped or cut until it has stop pulsing, even after your baby is in your arms! This is why we talk about the wonders of the Placenta!
I often recommend that my clients feel the umbilical cord with their own hands. It should feel lumpy and look milky white, and most importantly it should have no pulsating left to touch.
After birth, some mothers decide to consume their placenta. There are different options out there and the most common are dehydration and encapsulation. Raw smoothies preparation. Tinctures. Sushi…basically if you can think of it, you can cook it!
Others options include keepsakes in the form of jewelry, paintings, photographs and other forms of art. Some family bury their babies’ placenta and grow a new tree to honor their children. Others simply discard it.
Although the science behind the Wonders of the Placenta are still years behind, some recent studies have shown that the Placenta can be a source of stem cells harvesting. For this reason, I recommend against leaving your Placenta at the hospital. Even if you are not interested in consuming it or keeping it, please discard it at home. Your Placenta is worth a five digits profit for the hospital!
If you are considering banking your baby’s cord, please know that you can still advocate for a delayed clamping. As this is often done at home where midwives have the art of extracting the blood amount that is necessary for banking from the cord itself, even after it has stopped pulsing.
This reinforced the evidence that even though the cord has completed its job, there is still blood remaining. Unless there is an medical emergency, that blood belongs to our babies and has no business in the hospital staff’s hands.
Below is a video that illustrates the wonders of the placenta in a visual way.
I was recently at a wonderful homebirth, where the midwife took the time to show the wonders of the Placenta to all the family members who came to celebrate their new baby.
Midwife Maggie from Wholistic Births talks about the bag of water, aka amniotic sac, that wraps around the baby and attached to the Placenta. She shows both mom and baby sides and talks about the umbilical cord. It’s three vessels and length.