I had an amazing at-home birthing experience last week, and out of it came a beautiful baby and the life-giving placenta. The placenta is responsible for providing oxygen to the baby, discarding waste, and giving nutrients. The umbilical cord comes from the placenta and is attached to the baby’s belly. The placenta, bloody and bag-like, also resembles the tree of life within its design. Even though one can consume the placenta, I choose to plant it in a tree. My doula offered to do a placenta print, and so we did!
Before I get to the placenta, I would like to talk about my experience with the doula.
My doula, Sarah with Sacred Cycle Doula, gave me pregnancy tea to help induce labor and support my immune system. Sarah (https://www.sacredcyclesdoula.com/) picked me up two days before my birth to take me on a walk on the beach. I expressed my insecurities, and we spent the time getting to know each other at the Samoa Dunes in Humboldt County. A doula is an emotional support person during birth. She helped me with my breathing during labor. Afterward, she helped me with my milk production by offering me a bulk serving of a soup made from coconut, sweet potato, and nettle. This sweet porridge-like meal worked wonders, and after a few days, with the help of Mother’s Milk Tea, my milk was abundant.
The day after my birth, we took the placenta out of the fridge and placed it on a chux pad to make the print. Using the blood still in the ziplock bag, she painted the placenta with it and, with a large drawing paper, she made a perfect print of the placenta that helped support, feed, and nourish my baby.
I knew I wanted to plant my placenta. I initially was drawn to a lemon tree, but I couldn’t find one anywhere local in late summer. I settled with a Mutsu, green apple tree. I bought a large pot to put it in until we have found a permanent home. My husband, the farmer, filled the bottom of the pot with Fox Farm Soil. We placed the placenta inside and added another layer of soil before adding the tree so that the organ wasn’t directly underneath the tree. Then, we filled the rest of the pot up and watered it lightly.
The tree symbolizes the tree of life reflected on the placenta, as well as the journey ahead of my baby boy. It also resembles the change of the seasons that will make its leaves transition in color which will fall and regrow. The tree will provide fruit that helps nourish and feed its community, as I hope my son will foster to his. These are the reasons I choose to plant my placenta. Please comment below with what you did with yours!