It can nourish another life, or it’s a beautiful way to return these remains to Mother Earth… however you look at it, ‘planting the placenta’ is a lovely low-key way to celebrate your baby and take that ice cream container out of your freezer 🙂
It’s part of many cultures, but even for someone unbelieving, burying the placenta and then planting something over it, its a link to the past, the present and the future.
Obviously the first thing you need to do is have on your birth plan that you’d like to keep the placenta. Ask your midwife if you need to provide anything. Our local hospital had no problem providing us with the placenta in a plastic dish and wrapped in a brown paper bag. For our home births, I just had an ice cream container at the ready, pre labelled, of course!
Check out http://www.birthtoearth.com/ – or stockists – for a very cool kit which includes everything you need to wrap the placenta – and its all biodegradable so you can bury it. This way you dont have to touch (or even look at!) the placenta – perfect for the squemish!
Ok, I have to admit that post-birth I become squimeesh. I felt rather ill and faint when my first midwife tried to show me the placenta. I understand that its not everyone’s cup of tea. So I thought the Capceco Biodegradable Placenta Capsule Birth to Earth kit was really awesome!!! Plus, it makes a much more dignified container for the placenta than the recycled ice cream container.
You need to decide where to plant your placenta and tree. If you dont own your house, consider a (really) big pot. A Marae? Family land? Maybe the beach, or a park is your ideal (you may want to check with your council if you opt for a public place!). If you own your place, the tree will make a precious addition to your garden!
And then you need to decide WHAT to plant!!!!!!! (ahhhh, the decisions!!)
I opted to plant native trees – puriri, pohutukawa, kowhai etc….) others have planted roses, or fruit trees, or just their favourite tree (I think an oak or willow or other majestic tree would be neat too!).
The final big decision, is when!! Will you do this in the days after the birth? Or later at a time convienient (in which case, you better freeze the placenta!). Many plant theirs on the baby’s first birthday (what about at the exact time of birth?). You could plant at a special ceremony, at a naming ceremony, or just any beautiful day that tickles your fancy!
I have heard about planting the tree a year after you have buried the placenta, and I have also read about ensuring there is quite a large gap between the placenta and the tree roots if you dont wait. Just something to think about! Dont forget to water your tree!!!
(Yes the placenta in this pic is the dried up one from the lotus birth. Yours may resemble something a bit more like a lump of roast meat 🙂 !!!!!)
Have you planted your placenta/s? What did you put over it?