Focus on: Third Stage Labour

The placenta is a fascinating organ that we grow exclusively to support the developing baby, and then we release it, as soon as the baby no longer requires its services. You can read more about it here:

http://www.mothering.com/community/a/the-amazing-placenta

Most people give little or no thought to the fate of this alimentary organ, and many placentas end their careers in hospital incinerators. However, some people choose to instead keep their placentas. One placental livelihood is to be buried in a garden, to nourish a plant or tree just it once nourished the baby. Some people cherish having a shrub with the same birthday as their child, to track the annual growth and know they both once relied on the same salutary source. Another placental destiny is to be immortalized as art in a placenta print. Some people use the blood already present, and some dip the placenta in coloured ink. It can then be arranged and pressed onto canvas or paper, to resemble a tree or a circuit of pathways. You can see one technique for placenta printing here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paMNAepa-eQ

Some placentas achieve the respectable end of participating in research, through donation to the local hospital or research facility. And some placentas have lofty aspirations, but spend their retirement at the bottom of a deep freezer in someone’s basement, waiting in vain for their creator to finally get around to burying, planting, or printing them. I think I still have two placentas in mine.

Stephanie Ondrack

Placenta Print - Lola Rain

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