Category: Placenta

The Mandala Project – More Birth Art

Full Moon’s Daughter loves the placenta as much as Amy Swagman. About this piece she says, “Many midwives think that the placenta looks like a tree of life.  It’s interesting to think that every person on the face of the earth has been inside a mother, shared a placenta.  I’ve been worried about my anemia lately and there’s something about how strong and vigorous the placenta is that appeals to me.  The fact that a woman’s body is capable of growing an entire organ from scratch that nourishes another life and consists of so many nutrients, especially iron, is amazing to me!”

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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 8

Placenta Birth

  • Placenta separates from uterine wall
  • This could take 5 – 90 minutes
  • May experience painful contractions or none at all

Possible Emotional Responses to Placenta Birth

  • Surprise that you still aren’t done
  • Anger at contractions
  • Engrossment for your baby

What You Can Do During the Birth of the Placenta

  • Use your breathing during contractions
  • Keep baby at breast to stimulate the release of the placenta
  • Keep baby skin-to-skin
  • Enjoy your new baby
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Placenta Pictures

Maternal Side of placenta

Maternal Side of placenta

The membranes the baby lives in

The membranes the baby lives in

Fetal Side of Placenta - Notice the Tree of Life

Fetal Side of Placenta - Notice the Tree of Life


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Placenta Medicine

The following article was published in MotherTree Roots latest newsletter, volume 10. If you aren’t familiar with MotherTree, they are a wonderful motherbaby organization in Portland, Oregon.

Placenta medicine is the real deal. I’ve heard from dozens of women how have encapsulated their placenta and taken the pills to prevent postpartum depression or when feeling stress. I’ve also heard of moms giving their placenta pills to their babies toddlers to help with emotional, mental and behavioral issues.

Placenta pills can be stored long-term in the freezer, so you can have them whenever you need. Think about it, the placenta is an organ that you made and is perfect for what you need. It’s filled with your own hormones, so if you’re feeling upset, sad or just not right, you have a very powerful and safe antidote.

Full Moon’s Daughter can also recommend holistic practitioners in the Portland area who specialize in placenta medicine.


Mother Nature’s Mama Medicine 
By Jesse Henderson, CD, CDT, (DONA) LCCE

The journey into motherhood is only beginning the moment the baby is born. Next comes the real discoveries of creating a relationship with this new little person as well as the daunting tasks of 24 hour care, feeding, diapering, and integrating into the new life as parents. For most parents the joyful transition of welcoming baby tests every element of their life including a huge change for the mother’s body as she prepares to nourish the baby and release the hormones of pregnancy.

The good news is that Mother Nature has prepared the way to support this journey. Just as mom didn’t need to get up each day and consciously say “today we build the lungs of this baby” and set to work and instead learned to rely on her body’s inner wisdom, this wisdom comes prepared to follow through when the baby is born to provide support well into the postpartum period.

New research has shed light on the incredible intricacies of Mother Nature’s design at the moment of birth. As the baby reaches the breast and latches on, activating the miraculous customized milk supply made just for this baby, in this moment mom feels the rush of the peak experience of birth as oxytocin spreads through her system that will protect her and baby from numerous postpartum concerns including hemorrhage, depression, lack of bonding and disease, as well as providing the baby a lifetime supply of health benefits.

In addition to breastfeeding, stem cell research has many families now considering the value of the baby’s cord blood by either delaying clamping (so that baby can fully receive it’s cord blood at birth), banking or donating their baby’s cord blood.

And now new light has been shed on the powers of the placenta itself and it’s post-pregnancy healing properties that can protect a mother’s transition into postpartum. Just as the placenta has nourished a perfectly unique baby via it’s protective role, the mother herself can be nourished by her own placenta to help her recover from the dramatic hormonal shift in postpartum.

A carefully prepared placenta can be turned into pills that the mother can then consume as a supplement from early postpartum until menopause.

Placenta medicine pills may help to:
• Increase general energy
• Allow a quicker return to health after birth
• Increase production of breast milk
• Decrease likelihood of baby blues and post natal depression
• Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency
• Decrease likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders
• Assist through menopausal hormonal changes.

(Provided by Placenta Benefits:

What may have been viewed as a survival technique of other mammals, or reserved for indigenous cultures or the more hippy-esque of our culture, is now rapidly gaining acceptability amongst the conscious perhaps eco/sustainability-minded new parent.

“Mother Nature is the ultimate sustainable and efficient provider. She knows exactly how to provide the perfect nourishment for both mother and baby and the placenta holds many of the properties to ensure that,” said Raeben Nolan, a placenta encapsulation specialist and birth doula with Mother Tree, also known as the “placenta lady” in Portland, OR.

Nolan will prepare the placenta, dry it and turn it into a powder then encapsulate it for later consumption by the mother for a small fee. She also includes placenta art, the baby’s cord dried in heart-shape, and a tincture.

“It is well known in oriental medicine and homeopathy that relies much on the energy and healing properties of all sorts of materials including plants, animals and minerals. There is nothing more suited to the mother and her baby than the specific placenta energy that she herself has made,” commented Nolan.

Some research in homeopathy shows it can be turned into the constitutional remedy for the child as well that then becomes their own natural “reset” button for boosting their body’s natural healing abilities, Nolan added.

Nolan has served several dozen clients in the Portland area and has seen an upswing in requests from home birth, birth center and hospital birth clients.

In order to preserve the placenta, it must be fresh, and refrigerated soon after birth or frozen. Ideally , it is best to start preparing the placenta the same day as the birth so some prior planning is important says Nolan.

For more details feel free to contact Raeben Nolan at or 503-380-2408.

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