The placenta is the first organ to develop following the fertilization of the egg. After fertilization, the egg divides into two cells. One will be the placenta and one will be the baby. At twelve weeks it takes over the production of hormones. The first hormone produced is hCG (human chorionic gonadotropi), which is the hormone detected in a pregnancy test. The placenta is in charge of supplying the baby with nutrients, liquids, and oxygen for the duration of the babies time spent in the womb, as well as disposing of waste. Every minute that goes by your placenta has pumped one pint of blood into the uterus, and can weigh up to two pounds. It is made up of 50% or your cells, and 50% of your babies cells. The placenta has two parts. One is the mother’s side, and the other, the babies’ side.
Throughout the whole gestation the mothers blood and the babies blood stay separate.The placenta has a rich history throughout many different cultures. Some cultures view it as a spiritual companion that has watched over the baby for the period of gestation. Some will plant the placenta under a tree or plant. Some will encapsulate or eat the placenta (placentophagy). The umbilical cord is around 22 in. long, and gives just enough slack for the baby to go right to the mothers breast immediately after birth. The umbilical cord takes oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to the baby and returns waste from the baby back to the placenta.
You don’t have to have a certificate in placenta encapsulation to do this on your own. It is quite easy. It is important to do this when the placenta is only a few days old. You want to cut the placenta into little strips to be dehydrated. You can do this with a food dehydrator, or with your oven on low heat, with the door open, until the strips have been completely dried. You then can stick the strips in a blender or crush them up into a powder. You can then put the powder into capsules or throw a scoop into a smoothie. It is good to keep the capsules refrigerated or frozen to last longer.
If this seems like too much work you could always eat a piece of the placenta raw with a chaser of water or some kind of flavored drink. You can even put raw pieces into a smoothie. You can cut different sized pieces depending on your needs. For the smoothie pieces you can cut them a bit larger than pieces you plan to swallow whole. Once you have cut the pieces of the placenta, stick them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer. Once the pieces are frozen you can put them in a freezer bag, or freezer safe container so they are ready to go. If consuming the placenta seems kind of weird you could always plant it under a plant, or do some placenta artwork to commemorate the wonderful organ that fed and sustained your baby for all of those months. Stay tuned for future posts as I plan on covering what a ‘lotus birth’ is and how to do it yourself.