The Evolution of Birth & the Placenta

Over the past decade or so, a lot of awareness has been placed on bringing “natural birthing” back. The importance of creating a “birth plan”, being mindful about what you envision for your birth, and what you do and don't want during Labor & Delivery has become common place. It has also become common to plan ahead for childbirth by taking classes, reading books, and participating in social media groups. But even in this media saturated world we live in…and even with our growing awareness and desire to take childbirth back to its roots…the Placenta still remains widely forgotten and misunderstood! The "third stage of labor", the birth of your Placenta, is rarely considered ahead of time. Nor is what to do with your Placenta and Umbilical Cord after birth! Even today, these often remain an afterthought. Yet, the Placenta has always been, and will always remain, subconsciously and strongly rooted in our psyche.

Just as the roots of a tree draw in moisture and nutrients from the Earth Mother and deliver life-sustaining water up throughout the body of the tree; the Placenta draws in nutrients, moisture, and oxygen from the Mother, delivers life-sustaining elements to the baby! The placenta is each person's unique “Tree Of Life”.

The Placenta is the powerhouse that sustains pregnancy and ensures the survival of the baby while in the womb. It provides all essential nutritional needs, aids in development, acts as a barrier against harmful bacteria, prepares the mother's body for lactation and delivery, and regulates hormones essential to pregnancy and labor. The Placenta is also the commander-in-chief of the baby's Immune System during fetal development.

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Placenta Traditions

Traditionally, the Placenta has been deep-rooted in spiritual and religious beliefs throughout all of history...all over the all different cultures. Bali tradition believes that the Placenta, or Ari-ari, is the physical body of the baby's guardian angel. Although the physically body of the angel dies shortly after birth, the angel's spirit stays with the child it's entire life. However, in tradition it was forbidden to severe the umbilical cord before the Placenta was safely delivered, as it was believed that it would cause death of the Placenta, or ange’s spirit, and cause a series of unfortunate events throughout the child’s life.

With the industrialization of childbirth in the 20th century, labor and delivery went from being a gentle, natural, intuitive journey to a rushed, sterile set of interventions and protocols. Most of us grew up trusting in Western Medicine, our mothers and theirs before them taught to believe that doctors and hospitals were our best and only option for safe child birth.

Placenta Knowledge Awakened

More recently however, we have started to realize that somewhere down the line the medical industry tried fixing something that was never broken to begin with. From the begining of time childbirth has been, and always will be, the most natural part of humanity. This new generation of mom's are learing more about the benefits of a gentle, patient, intuitive approach to pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care.

Sadly, the hospitals where most of you where birthed, and where some of you have given birth yourselves, treat your Placenta as unimportant medical waste. It is whisked away after immediate cord cutting and incinerated. Such an unnecessary intervention and such an incredible waste.

You have the once in a lifetime opportunity to plan for how your baby will separate from their Placenta and how to honor the "Sacred Trinity"; the Baby, the Cord, and the Placenta!

Read “Your Amazing Placenta - Part 2”

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