Placenta—The Tree of Life.

Via on Aug 17, 2010

Eww? Placenta is the ultimate provider of love and nourishment.

The placenta is an organ little discussed in birthing circles, yet deserves attention and respect. The ultimate provider of love and nourishment to your baby in womb, the placenta gives and receives from mother to baby and from baby to mother.

This tree of life collects nourishment (oxygen, nutrients) from mama’s blood through its branches (cotyledons) and passes this nourishment to baby’s blood which travels through the trunk (umbilical cord) and into baby’s body to nourish and grow baby. Then, baby sends what is not needed back through his umbilical cord to the cotyledons and mamas blood collects and removes these substances.

This organ of pregnancy is co-created between mother and child within the womb space, the creative center. It connects itself to the wall of the uterus, the muscle that houses baby, and connects through the umbilical cord to baby’s belly button.

The placenta, like all trees, is constantly giving and receiving. Trees receive nourishment through sunshine, fresh air, and clean water. They give oxygen to the earth and all beings. Our bodies are trees receiving nourishment through sunshine, fresh air, and clean water. We can give oxygen and life and love to others easily when we are well nourished. We nourish our babies well when we ourselves are nourished.

Your baby grows beautifully receiving the nourishment that you provide through baby’s placenta. What do you provide? Provide whole foods offered to us by the earth and prepared with love. Provide clean filtered water and drink to thirst to maintain hydration. Provide lots of fresh air and outdoor movement. Provide loving thoughts and kindness to yourself, your baby and others. Your baby grows beautifully within you.

The placenta gives and receives emotion and feeling. Pregnant mamas can recognize this when paying attention to the signs that her body gives her. What she feels, baby feels. What baby feels, she feels. They are one. What emotions/feelings does your baby send to you? What do you send to your baby? Send love.

Here is a simple meditation for mothers to use based on the meditations of Thich Nhat Hanh. Create your own as well.

Sit in a relaxed cross legged position on the floor, a blanket stacked underneath your sit bones will make the sit for several minutes more comfortable. Slowly repeat, following your breath:

Breathing in,
I nourish the tree of life.
Breathing out,
My baby is nourished.

Once baby is born onto the earth, the placenta is no longer needed within Mama’s body to sustain baby, as now, her body makes milk perfectly designed to nourish baby. What is typically known as “Third Stage of Labor,” is actually the placenta being released from Mama’s uterus. After baby is born and brought to the breast to nurse, her body produces another boost of oxytocin, the hormone of love, which assists in releasing the placenta from the uterine wall. This can take anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes and for the health and well being of Mama and baby, is best to let nature dictate its release, when no complications exist and birth unfolded without intervention.

Once the placenta is birthed, take some moments to look at it. It can be wrapped up and kept with your baby if you decide not to cut the umbilical cord and let it fall off naturally (lotus birth.) This does take some preparation and devotion on the part of the family for this to occur. Although this is not routine in our society today to leave baby and placenta attached together as one unit, there are positive energetic life force effects for baby to keep this familiar source of nourishment with baby until she is comfortably ready to release it on her own.

Some families offer the placenta back to the earth under a tree or plant. Some families cook and eat the placenta. Some families make it into Placenta Medicine. Some families throw it out.

During your pregnancy, discover the beautiful ways that your body works to grow your baby. It is truly a miraculous gift to grow, birth, and parent a little one. Honor and nourish  with love the changes within your body, mind, and spirit throughout this incredible journey. Make it beautiful!

What are your placenta plans?

*photo courtesy of Diksha Berebitsky

About Helene Rose

Helene Rose, MS, is passionate about supporting women to live brilliant lives and founded Be Brilliant Network LLC to serve as a portal for women to step into their radiance. Her life experience provides her with a deeply compassionate perspective and understanding of the modern woman’s struggle for mindful living and feminine empowerment. She lives in Boulder, CO with her family. Read more about Helene >>> HERE.

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6 Responses to “Placenta—The Tree of Life.”

  1. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Emma Blue here. I love to freak men out talking about placenta.

    Im to give birth at Boulder Community Foothills and not all rooms have fridges, so pretty much the only thing on our packing list is a cooler and ice for the placenta. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I would love to have it encapsulated, but would need to barter services for this. Otherwise, at the least it will be wonderful compost!

    I think I need to experience placenta smoothie at least once in my life.

    I read from a woman who did a lotus birth that her baby seemed much happier once they disconnected him from the placenta, that he could still feel everything that touched the placenta, and in the future, wouldnt do a lotus birth again.

    Thankfully its standard practice at Foothills hospital to wait for the cord to stop pulsating to cut it!

    • Prema Rose says:

      A note on the procedure for cutting the cord in the hospital…..It takes a couple of hours for the cord to stop pusating all the way to the baby's umbilicus. After then, it is safe to cut it without a clamp, but you must watch it carefully so it can be tied off if there is bleeding. Apply some golden seal powder to the stump or use WishGarden Herb's Cord Care. Ask the hospital to wait. They usually cut the cord after a few minutes but you could ask.

      Have a beautiful birth,
      Prema Rose (retired registered midwife)

  2. Helene Rose helene_rose says:

    Hi Emma!

    I love it. Perhaps if the placenta did not just come out of a beautiful woman, it wouldn't freak him out so much?

    Wonderful to hear you have some plans "in the works" for your placenta. Whatever you decide to do, nourish yourself or nourish the Earth, the placenta will honored!

    Allowing the blood flow through the umbilical cord to naturally taper off is such a nice peaceful transition for baby.
    She isn't forced to use her lungs right away as the blood contains oxygen that continues to flow to her just as it did in the womb.

    Each woman, baby, and family has their own needs and lotus birth may not fit well for some. It's imperative that each mama follows her own intuition and do what feels right for her family in ALL aspects of birthing and parenting.

    Great!
    Helene

  3. Ben Ralston Ben Ralston says:

    Hello Helene,
    Lovely article. And I love your gleeful photo too; you’re shining :)
    We’re pregnant and due in November. We haven’t quite got to the point where we’d think about what to do with the placenta – i know that at the very least we’ll wait for it to stop pulsating before cutting, and this is the second time in two days that I’ve heard about lotus birth. I think Thanks for the information!
    love, Ben

  4. Zuk says:

    Excellent Job, Helene! Congrats on your forward movement in Boulder! Good rest of the Summer to You!

  5. Helene Rose helene_rose says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you!

    What an exciting time for you … planning the arrival of your little one!
    Check out the "lotus birth" link …. there is lots of good info here as well as birth stories from lotus birth families.

    Hi Zuk,

    Thank you!
    Enjoy your summer.

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