See, the fact of the matter is that the placenta, while the baby is in the womb, is responsible for nourishing and protecting it. The first time the placenta was requested was about 28 years ago in … While there is a maternal component, placental tissue is mainly derived from the fertilized egg and carries the fetus’s genome. No matter what you choose to do with your placenta, remember to value the life it has helped you nurture and bring forth. It is an increasingly common practice for many New Zealanders of all ethnic origins to take the placenta home and plant a tree over it. For centuries upon centuries, countless cultures around the world have ceremonially handled the placenta because to them, it is a pure symbol of spirit, life and individuality. Currently, there is research being done on consuming your placenta, either by dehydration and pill form, or eating it in another form. Also, it is vital for the father to make sure that the placenta is not buried too deep as burying it deep within the ground will delay the child’s acquisition of his/her speech abilities. Simply the World’s Most Interesting Travel Site. (Indeed, some communities believe that the mother or child will be harmed if an animal, for instance, consumes the placenta.) In the Maori language, the word ‘Whenua’ is used to for both land and placenta, thereby signifying the connection established between the two. Although practiced in other cultures, Western medicine and science for decades did not take placentophagy, the act of eating placenta, seriously. However, women who have done this say Most common way to consume the placenta after birth: Eat the placenta raw. The Kikuyu of Kenya place it in an uncultivated field and cover it with grains and grasses, while other cultures bury it in the dirt floor of the family’s house. To dry a placenta you would simply dehydrate it in the oven, then using a mortar and pestle, grind it up. This is called a Lotus birth and is not practiced often in the United States. One thing you see here is that there are many families who will hold ceremonies with the placenta after birth. Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. Serving up the hottest food trends and the inside scoop on restaurants worldwide. As it is more so a ‘part’ of the child, it is extremely important for the placenta to be given utmost respect and reverence. To be honest, the Turkish people believe that the relationship between a child, the umbilical cord and the placenta is similar to that of their belief that the people and animals that a pregnant woman sees, and the food that she consumes will impact the baby in his/her mother’s womb. I worked in southern Oklahoma and north Texas. If it is not properly handled, Indonesian folklore has it that the mother or the baby will fall very ill. Also, there is a bit of gender disparity when it comes to the location of the burial of the placenta. Moms in and out of the limelight have reported trying the practice in the hopes that eating the placenta will help avoid the baby blues and boost … Do they all ingest it via pill or eat it in its raw form, plant it, or do something totally different? However, after doing some research and talking to Dine’ women, there is no cultural context to do this in Navajo way. Apart from that, Ukrainian midwives, as is believed, just need to take a look at the placenta to tell how many more babies a couple will have in times to come. They believe that the placenta is there to serve as the baby’s guardian all through his/her life for which reason it needs to be buried instead of being disposed of. Amongst the countless beliefs pertaining to the placenta held by people and their cultures worldwide, this one sure comes as a surprise. However, in this field it is not cooked, but rather usually dried. It is only upon successfully doing so that the soul will be able to move on to the spirit world where it can meet its ancestors. 'Placentophagia' In two decades of medical practice, she says only a handful of women have taken home their placenta to eat, while others have used them in … This is the only disposable organ ever made. To them, children will hence remain loyal to their ancestral lands and not move elsewhere. In fact, there are certain rituals that must be performed before the burial and the placenta is treated with utmost respect and regard. It joins the mother to the baby, and forms a link between the two by supplying blood through the umbilical cord to the developing child. In a review of cross-cultural traditions of 179 human societies the authors found a “… conspicuous absence of cultural traditions associated with maternal placentophagy..”. For this reason, the expectant mother or a close relative of hers prepares a special basket in which the placenta is to be brought back home. 2016 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12549. Well, hang your framed art or store it for safe keeping. Also, it is only after collecting the placenta jacket and traveling to the spirit world that the soul will be reincarnated and sent back to the world as a new baby. While eating your placenta, called placentophagy, isn't a new idea, it’s been getting a lot of buzz in recent years. Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor. The reason that you would wait this year is that a placenta is so nutrient rich that it would kill anything planted before that period. From there you can mix it with food or ingest it within capsules. While we all marvel at the miracle of fetal development and the wonders of birth, we very often fail to look at the miraculous organ the placenta. Gryder LK, Young SM, Zava D, Norris W, Cross CL, Benyshek DC. Now there are certain restrictions in the Malaysian culture that must be complied with in terms of the burial of the placenta and umbilical cord. This dedication of the placenta back to the earth or in honor of the child is becoming more frequent. Other cultures have come to see the placenta in a completely different light. Yes, the placenta, according to the folklore of many countries and cultures holds immense importance, and one of them states that it can also assist with birth control. When women give birth, there are two things that they end up with. Read our, Medically reviewed by Brian Levine, MD, MS, FACOG, Medically reviewed by Leigh Raviv, WHNP-BC, What to Avoid During Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Guide, What It Means to Have an Anterior Placenta and What You Can Do, What to Know About Cutting the Umbilical Cord After Birth, Types of Labor and Delivery Complications, The Risks of Mothers Delivering a Baby With Placenta Accreta, How to Prevent Placental Abruption From Occurring in Pregnancy, What Doctors Look for When Examining the Placenta, Try These 15 Superfoods to Boost Your Fertility. For those who don’t know, the Hmong people are largely considered as being part of one of the oldest known civilizations in the entire world. The most common placenta preparation — creating a … Chinese medicine has advocated it for centuries. A year later a tree or flower is then planted in the same spot to allow the placenta to nourish its growth. As per the Maori belief, upon the consumption of the placenta by the green ants, the couple will not have any more babies for some time – quite a means of birth control, right? Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. After adding in all of these items into the cloth, the placenta and umbilical cord are carefully wrapped and buried in the door way of the house. Apart from the basics, the placenta additionally provides the developing baby with all of the antibodies that s/he needs for ample protection in the first few months of his/her precious life. Well, the Hmong people believe that in such a case, the soul will remain in a state of unease and wander for eternity – that too all alone and naked as it could not collect its placenta jacket. Since a lot of cultures eat this, placenta can actually be ingested, however, eating it is not basically recommended. It is for this reason that the placenta, according to Malay traditions, must be handled with proper care. Once that is done, it is also vital for needles, books and pencils to also be added into the piece of cloth. As outrageous as it sounds, couples in Transylvania who do not wish to have any more babies are known to burn off the placenta upon the delivery of their child. The different elements that traditional Chinese medicine believes the consumption of placenta can help with are inclusive of: It is further believed in China that the consumption of a placenta can help with things like excessive fatigue and infertility. It is, after all, the Tree of Life. Is there any validity to the arguments that claim doing so has benefits? Upon the delivery of the baby, they place the placenta in the specially-prepared basket, which is then carried home by the father or a grandparent of the new born baby. These day’s it is becoming a common practice in the dominant culture for women to eat their placenta’s. Sixth Edition. UPDATE: Alex Reid's Fiancé Nikki Manashe Confirms She's Pregnant With Twins! So what if the placenta is not adequately buried and the soul is unable to reunite with it? In case this particular bit of care is not taken, the mother is forever going to remain infertile with no hopes of ever being able to conceive a child again. The people of Malaysia give high regard to the link between a mother, her baby and the placenta. In many African cultures, “zan boku” means “the place where the placenta is buried.” and bury the placenta under a tree. For this reason, several cultures tend to bury the placenta instead of just wasting it. The Maori people residing in New Zealand have a completely different view of the placenta. 7 Placenta tradition in Indonesia. In our modern world, this may seem barbaric and some have even said that this could spread HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis. In other words, they found no human culture that includes eating placenta after birth. It is believed by the Hmong people that the placenta plays a vital role in establishing a link between the living world and the spirit world. They usually plant the placenta with a seed in order for it to grow as a tree together with the child. Through the burial, they believe that the Whenua is being gifted to Papa Tua Nuku or Mother Earth. No evidence eating placenta after giving birth provides health The placenta is typically consumed by processing it into capsules – but some have been known to actually cook it and eat it. On the whole, traditional Ukrainian people are of the notion that the placenta is associated with a mother’s future fertility. All of this is basically done in order to make sure that the child grows up to be a hardworking individual and a very intelligent student. There are many reasons listed for eating the placenta, including it helping stem postpartum depression and it supposedly helps to contract the uterus after the birth, build iron stores (which doesn't seem to hold true in initial studies), and perhaps influence the rates of postpartum depression. After that, it is placed in a piece of cloth together with several spices. However, if a father wants his baby to grow up to be a devout individual, he must bury the umbilical cord in the courtyard of a mosque. [Epub ahead of print]. One’s a beautiful baby, and the other is a, well, gross-looking placenta. That’s right. In Chinese Medicine, the placenta is known as a great life force and is highly respected in terms of its medicinal value. Chinese traditional medicine uses it dried. Generally, mothers talk about placenta prints. Now instead of simply tossing away this outstanding body organ and marking it mere ‘clinical waste’, people in Indonesia take every step necessary to revere it, and then give it a proper burial. The burial needs to be performed by the father of the baby strictly. The nutrients in the placenta replenish some of the energy lost during the birthing process. These must be ordered separately. The only place to satisfy all of your guilty pleasures. For males, it is necessary for the placenta to be buried right below the main post of the house. This, according to Chinese medicine, has the potential to negative impact the mother’s milk supply with insufficient milk for the baby. Apart from doorways, it is also vital for the father of the baby to make sure that the placenta is buried somewhere it cannot get stepped over. And then patients started to ask about eating placentas. The second reason is that placentas are very rich nutrients. Whether you go with a delicate pendant, beaded bracelet, or tiny … One’s a beautiful baby, and the other is a, well, gross-looking placenta. For this, both the placenta and the umbilical cord need to be cleansed as meticulously as possible. After the delivery, this substantial blood loss can lead the mother to being blood deficient. When women give birth, there are two things that they end up with. can eat the placenta, but the herbivores mammals like goats, cows, etc. For this reason, the umbilical cord and the placenta are not thrown away considering that it tends to influence the future life and employment of the new born baby. So, animals such as goats and lions eat the placenta, and they do so immediately after birth by eating the full organ raw and … What about placenta art? In Ancient Egypt, the placenta was considered by many to be a child’s secret helper. So technically, wouldn’t eating the placenta fit the definition of cannibalism: eating the flesh of another individual of your own species? In some cultures it's not uncommon for a woman to eat the placenta after giving birth. On the other hand, the placenta of females is buried under the bed of their parents. The practice of eating placenta, or “placentophagy,” is common in the animal kingdom. Others want to plant it with a tree to commemorate the birth. Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. 2016 Oct - Nov;20(5):476-483. doi: 10.1016/j.nwh.2016.08.005. However, before the burial, it is necessary for the placenta (supposed dead twin of the baby) to be placed in a clean bowl and properly washed. 15 Physical Signs That Suggests It's A Boy, A Father’s Early Life Stress Exposure May Affect His Newborn's Brain Development, College Senior Launches Program To Empower Black Women On The Issue Of Infant Mortality, 7 Things Every New Mom Should Be Doing In The Morning, Pregnancy In A Wheelchair: Women Share Their Experiences & Advice, Mandy Moore Shares Hilarious Story Of Breaking Pregnancy News To Her Mother-In-Law. "Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition - but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it," she says. A few of my patients began to ask if they might take their placenta home to bury, a custom in some cultures. For this reason, it is packed full of nutrition and when take on a long-term basis, it has the potential to help one achieve longevity. Not only the carnivores mammals like lions, leopards, etc. Nurs Womens Health. Placenta traditions from around the world – different cultures, different beliefs. Also known as the afterbirth, the placenta happens to be. The Maori of New Zealand hold a strict belief that the adequate burial of the placenta on tribal land assist in the establishment of a lifelong connection between the new born baby and his/her ancestral land. In the traditional Hmong culture, the placenta holds extreme importance, and is highly regarded to the point that it needs to be buried inside the family home where the birth takes place. The word used by the Hmong people for the placenta actually means ‘jacket’ and they believe that the soul of an individual actually goes back to the place where his/her placenta was buried in order to collect its ‘placenta jacket’. 15 Things That Happen Immediately After The Belly Drops, Placenta traditions from around the world – different cultures, different beliefs, washing and wrapping up the umbilical cord, 15 Of The Worst Pregnancy Tests Out There, Pre-Workout Stretches To Try During The Postpartum Period To Get Toned, Maternity Jeans: How To Find The Best Fit Depending On Your Trimester, My First Pregnancy Was So Bad I Didn't Want To Have More Kids, Common Bath Time Hazards You May Not Realize Are Dangerous For Babies & Toddlers, Heroic Neighbour Catches Toddler Who Fell Off 13th Story Balcony, If You & Your Partner Don't Agree On These 6 Things, You May Not Be Ready To Have A Baby, Dog & Toddler Go Viral For Adorable Ride In Toy Convertible, Watch Toddler's Hilarious Encounter With A Chick-Fil-A Sandwich. Also, the empress Cixi is believed to have consumed the placenta during China’s last dynasty as a means of staying young. As I researched this, I found the assertion that the placenta is part of the woman’s body. Granted, they only looked at 179 cultures: “It was a representative sample, but it’s not an exhaustive list,” Benyshek says. Heck, even high profile ladies and celebrities have ingested their placenta in pill form, thereby bringing all the more attention towards this crucial pregnancy organ. In current times, the Hmong people typically live in Northern Thailand, Southern China, Northern Lao, North West Vietnam and Burma. Traditional Chinese medicine has long associated blood with breast milk. Some African nations swaddle … Effects of Human Maternal Placentophagy on Maternal Postpartum Iron Status: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. We know that many animals eat their own placenta, including as a means to hide the scent from predators. There are other cultures that consider the placenta as the twin sibling of the baby. Joseph R, Giovinazzo M, Brown M. A Literature Review on the Practice of Placentophagia. The placenta is an intricate organ that nourishes the growing fetus by exchanging nutrients and oxygen and filtering waste products via the umbilical cord. For certain Arab tribes, the placenta should be disposed of very carefully, as if something unpleasant happens to it, the mother will not be able to conceive a baby again. According to medical texts dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the placenta plays a very significant role in the survival as well as the development of a baby in the mother’s womb. Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. As weird as these traditions might sound to us, these just go on to show how highly regarded the placenta is to people across the world – something that has just dawned on us in the recent past. It was back in the 60s and 70s that the practice of eating placenta took hold on back-to-nature communes. To them, an individual continues to maintain a deep connection with his/her placenta all through life for which reason it should not be discarded. For the people of Indonesia, the placenta is actually considered as the elder sibling or the twin of the baby being born. It is because of this belief that the placenta is placed in a clean bowl, thoroughly washed with extreme care, wrapped up in a neat and tidy piece of cloth and then buried under a tree. It is believed that it was Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of unified China who initially made extensive claims about the health properties of the placenta and why it should be consumed. After the birth, you take a piece of paper and lay the placenta on it. Actually, this is inaccurate. As we all know, delivery takes a serious toll at the mother’s blood toll (believe it or not, women lose up to about 750ML of blood during labor!). For example, in some cultures, it is commonplace to leave the baby attached to the placenta, rather than clamp the cord, until the cord dries up and falls off. In a 1979 volume of the Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, William Ober's article "Notes on Placentophagy" evaluates the possibility that certain ancient cultures that practiced human sacrifice may also have practiced human placentophagy, including Egyptians, Tasians, Badarians, Amrateans, Gerzeans, Semainians. Well, for the simple reason that it would not be possible for the couple to have any more children if the placenta gets buried in a doorway. Even Aboriginal tribes, such as the Maori of New Zealand previously mentioned, believe that if a couple is done with having babies, they should bury the placenta under an ant pit for green ants. After the burning part of the ritual is done, the father of the new born baby is required to drink the ashes. This particular tradition is also followed by the Igbo of Nigeria. can also eat their placenta and other fetal membranes just after the childbirth. For instance, it is necessary for the placenta and umbilical cord to be buried before or after the 12 noon mark. Fans of placentophagia – the practice of eating placenta – … Some Icelandic and Balinese cultures see the placenta as a child’s guardian angel. To them, the placenta creates a connection between the new born baby and his/her land or tribe. Everything out there right now is based on anecdotal or very old data that has not yet been corroborated. There are even ceremonies and beliefs held about the placenta that are completely foreign to us. Giving birth to several kittens takes a toll on a cat’s body. Specify if C-section or vaginally delivered placenta. This basically goes on to signify that the male child will, in times to come, become the main strength of the family, and serve as the performer of rituals and spiritual carrier of the household. Upon the birth of a child, it is necessary for the placenta and the umbilical cord to the buried properly in the  doorway of the child’s house. What appears to be waste to some holds immense importance for others – this is how the placenta’s worth can be ... 6 Ceremonial burials of the placenta in Turkey. The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta as the dead twin of the live child and give it full burial rites. Website for moms seeking advice, community, and entertainment. To be honest, discussing the placenta and settling on what one would want to do with it after having the baby has become pretty common place now. Although a majority of Maori women these days deliver their babies in a proper hospital and live fairly far away from their ancestral lands, they have continued to make sure that the said tradition is not forsaken in any manner whatsoever. Proponents of traditional Chinese medicine believe that eating the placenta is the finest means of celebrating birth and contains all of the nutrients required to keep postnatal depression at bay. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Similarly: However, all of this needs to be done after carefully washing and wrapping up the umbilical cord as a mark of respect to not just the umbilical cord and the placenta, but to the relationship they hold with the baby as well. J Midwifery Women's Health. WebMD explores the science. The placenta is typically planted with a tree on the ancestral land as trees signify ongoing life. In Chinese Medicine, the placenta is known as a great life force and is highly respected in terms of its medicinal value. Here we explore the benefits of the nutrients found in a human placenta and why many mothers in different cultures actually eat the placenta after giving birth. With the placenta already buried, the umbilical cord receives similar treatment. Does not include mycoplasma, ureaplasma, viral or chlamydia detection. To dry a placenta you would simply dehydrate it in the oven, then using a mortar and pestle, grind it up. There are even meal-like recipes for cooking placentas, including placenta stew, placenta lasagna, power drinks with blended placenta and others. Human moms do it, too, including tribal women and glamorous celebrities. Seriously speaking, there are so many diverse traditions surrounding this one disposable body organ that reading about them is simply going to overwhelm you. The theories behind this are that it helps slow the new family down and offers them more seclusion in the first few days when a getting to know you period is in order. Why so? It supplies your growing baby with a means of obtaining nutrients for development as well as a method of waste disposal. As a labor and delivery nurse, I can tell you that I have witnessed this practice twice in 30 years. But their data suggest that, if anything, many cultures avoid eating the placenta. Upon doing so, he will supposedly become infertile, thereby deeming it impossible for the couple to have more children – I am left to wonder if this ritual actually works! Although the tradition has now vanished, women also used to eat their placenta in the form of a pate or a pasta dish. Yes, you can make art out of it. In order to replenish the milk supply, traditional Chinese medicine deems it necessary for the mother to consume the placenta so that any issues with insufficient milk and lactation can be resolved right away. If it is fresh you can let the blood and amniotic fluid leave the print or others choose to use paints to add color. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. For this reason, it is necessary for it to be buried in the right place. Some mothers have been reported to eat placenta raw. While this is very true if people other than the mother consume the placenta, normally it is only the mother partaking of the placenta. With so many discussions going on around us regarding the after birth, it makes me wonder what people around the world do with it? Although the placenta is revered in many cultures, there is scarce evidence that any customarily eat the placenta after the newborn's birth. After that, the placenta is taken back to their ancestral lands for the burial to take place. Also known as the afterbirth, the placenta happens to be the only disposable organ in the body. If truth be told, if it weren’t for the placenta, babies would not have their very own life support system. However, in this field it is not cooked, but rather usually dried. Here goes: What appears to be waste to some holds immense importance for others – this is how the placenta’s worth can be defined. So it is not really clear why we've jumped from, okay, animals eat their placenta, there is some use of the placenta for treatment of ailments in other cultures, and how that translated then to moms should eat their placenta postpartum for postpartum complications such as postpartum depression or postpartum anemia. “For many Indigenous cultures, the placenta is a living being.” Some other cultures believe in a sort of twinning of child and placenta. Then comes the practice of placentophagia, eating the placenta, is also practiced in some parts of the world. Some families will take the placentas and bury them in the ground to celebrate the new life given to them. On the whole, this particular ritual is based on the famous saying ‘What is given by land should return to the land’. This goes on to show that it isn’t just the mother who is allowed to consume the placenta – others can join in on the meal too! Eating the placenta is also an accepted ritual in certain cultures. Submit tissue or swab in anaerobic transport system if anaerobes desired on C-section … Historically, eating placentas have been associated with curing infertility, hastening labor, aiding in lactation, preventing afterpains, removing birthmarks and scars, curing epilepsy and as a form of birth control. Make Jewelry. However, it appears that not all parents out there are interested in disposing it off – there are some that choose to eat it and do a whole lot of other things that just might gross you out. Eating the placenta after birth has been practiced by many cultures for generations, and is an easy way to ward of postpartum depression. Some people have categorical philo… In recent years, more and more people, mainly mothers, have been consuming their afterbirth . Similarly, people in Ukraine make sure that the placenta is not buried in a doorway. The medical use of eating a small section of the placenta accompanied by some honey to successfully control post-partum hemorrhage, however, has been accounted for in midwifery practices, and has worked even after typical administration of herbs or pitocin only temporaril… If these are buried at 12 noon sharp, tradition holds that the new born baby is going to grow up to be a very stubborn individual. These are inclusive of salt and tamarind together with onions and a whole lot more. Eating your placenta after giving birth (placentophagy) can pose harm to both you and your baby. The placenta is largely considered as a friend, end or comrade of the child that has just been born. Some moms want to keep the placenta to eat at home as a way to potentially stave off some of the less enjoyable after-effects of birth. This is a general culture for Listeria, Beta Strep and enteric GNB. Now, what? The smell of the placenta would attract predators, so it’s part of a cat’s innate behavior to eat it. Not only that, it also plays a vital role in the secretion of hormones that are required for a smooth pregnancy and to prepare the body for breastfeeding. However, in case the couple does not wish to have any more babies for a while, the placenta is buried under an ant pit for green ants. Rachel Gurevich, RN, is a registered nurse, fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. The act of eating the placenta after you give birth, called placentophagy, isn't just something animals do. This means that the placenta and umbilical cord need to be buried following Malayr traditions. This organ grows from the time of conception to eventually take over the production of hormones needed to sustain the pregnancy at around 12 weeks gestation (from your last menstrual period). In some cultures, it is customary to bury the placenta and plant a tree over it. The practice of placentophagy, or eating one’s own placenta, is rather common in China, and actually has a history of over 2000 years associated with it.
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