When my first baby was born, I decided to keep her Placenta.
The placenta is the organ, which connects the foetus with the Mother. It's attached...
... the intra uterine wall and the umbilical cord grows from it.
In many traditional and indigenous cultures, the placenta is treated as something very special. A homage is paid in ways we have forgotten in our 'modern' ways.
In Bali, where I live, it is believed to be the twin sibling of the child and after the child has been born, it is buried near the house in a ceremonial way, so that this first sibling will always be close.
I used to talk with my friends jokingly about keeping it, they laughed as they thought this was an odd thing to do. Who would think about keeping the placenta in the western world? Most of my friends found the idea hilarious and so I decided to keep it to myself. To me, this was serious.
Now, 13 years later, I am humbled by my own decision and know how blessed I was, to be able to look ahead.
Both my children have their very own remedy from the Birth moment, as well as a tree planted where we buried it.
In hospitals the placenta gets discarded soon after the woman birthed it. Officially it gets discarded, but often, what happens is that it doesn’t go into the biohazardous bin, but gets sold to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. They know its real value, at least from the physical perspective.
They process and use components of it in anti aging products, to assist in medication for menopause and other remedies.
I kept my placenta. Wasn’t it incredible? It had fed my baby over many months and all of the nutrients went straight into and through her, filtering out anything harmful to my baby, never was I going to throw it into the garbage bin or let go of it in a thoughtless way.
I had done my research previously and found out that the placenta, beside it’s spiritual and traditional significance, was something I could use for the most precious and special gift to my child, a homeopathic remedy, as personal and powerful as it possibly can be.
It was not easy to find someone with the knowledge who was prepared to do it as it needed to be handshaken and looked after in a complex procedure. Eventually I found someone, a true pharmacist by heart and he was as excited as I was, at the prospect of using his skill and understanding in order to help me create this once in a lifetime remedy.
When the day came and my daughter was born, everything turned out differently. Although I had given birth to her naturally and without any medical intervention, the placenta wouldn’t release. Things like this can happen. After a 16 hour labour and a two hour attempt at birthing the placenta naturally, as well as with the help of oxytocin in the end, I was transferred to the closest hospital for it to be removed manually. I was anaesthezised and after that, the placenta was no longer going to be as useful as the basis for a natural remedy. The midwives, in their incredibly wisdom and sensitivity, knew about my wish and cut a piece from the umbilical cord instead, to put into a tincture bottle.
When I woke up from anesthesia with my sweet little newborn baby next to me, I was the happiest I had ever been, yet sad about the loss of this remedy which I had put so much effort into preparing the basis and also envisioned to be her personal source of strength for all of the years to come.
This was until I was told what the beautiful midwives had done in their endless love and understanding.
Midwife is french is called 'Sage Femme' or 'Wise Woman'.
Well, they are.
We created many remedies from the bottle with the umbilical cord and everytime, the situation required it, I would give my daughter a little bit of her very first connection with the world. Very powerful.
The placenta I had still kept in the freezer for many years, until we built a house in the countryside and I had enough space in the garden to put it into the soil and plant a tree on top of it.
Her very personal tree of life.
For my son who was born five years later, I did the same.
There are many ways to honour the placenta, honour life through her. In the animal world, the mother often eats the placenta, in order to gain the strength she needs after giving birth. In the human world, this was common practice in some places too, particularly in times of starvation or war, consuming the placenta with all it’s incredible nutrients in it, would save the Mother and help her produce milk for her baby.
Nature is truly incredible, we are looked after in many ways. To honour and cherish what we were given and what nourished us is a way of closing the circle and give back.
Stories from the edge
Uta Verena is a Mother, a Yoga,-and Healing Practitioner, She deeply cares about Earth and is passionate about the restoration of inner and outer balance.